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Department of State

Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State

About the Executive Director

Marelyn Rivera serves as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Center for Hispanic Policy, Research, and Development, and as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Secretary in the Department of State. With over 15 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, Marelyn has worked extensively with local and state governments as well as nonprofit organizations.

Before joining the Department of State, Marelyn was the Director of Communications and Outreach for the Department of Environmental Protection. She also worked with Governor Phil Murphy, assisting his office with Latino-related outreach and communication throughout most of his first term. Marelyn served as Chief of Staff for a Hudson County Commissioner prior to joining state government. Additionally, Marelyn has a background in event consulting, managing events, budgets, and brand creative strategies. Her experience includes developing and executing multifaceted marketing strategies and campaigns, particularly in the retail sector, where she held roles such as merchandise coordinator, promotions and eCommerce specialist, and director of marketing. Her passion lies in improving the lives of all New Jerseyans.

Marelyn also hosted "North Hudson," a bilingual local access television show that highlighted community leaders and local issues. She has been actively involved in philanthropic and community initiatives, serving as a co-founding trustee of the Hudson County Young Democrats, trustee emeritus of the Jersey City Youth Foundation, and board member of organizations such as Party With Purpose, Latinas United for Political Empowerment Fund (LUPE), and I Am Trenton Community Foundation. She has also volunteered in Guatemala, helping to build homes for families in need.

A first-generation college student, Marelyn studied fashion marketing and management at Berkeley College. Raised in Hudson County with family roots in Honduras, she is bilingual in English and Spanish and conversant in Italian. Marelyn resides in Trenton with her son, cat, and dog.


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