A native Hoosier now holds the number two job at the U.S. Small Business Administration. Last month, the U.S. Senate confirmed
Marie C. Johns as U.S. SBA deputy administrator.
Nominated by President Obama, Johns is responsible for management, policy development and program supervision. Born in Indianapolis,
Johns earned degrees at IUPUI and worked for the Indiana State Legislative Services agency from 1980 to 1983 before embarking
on a 21-year career with Verizon.
In recent years, Johns has served as chairman of the Washington, D.C., Chamber of Commerce and as managing member of public
policy firm L&L Consulting LLC. She also served as a board member of IU’s Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence
from 2007 to 2010.
At her confirmation hearing, Johns testified about her family’s small-business heritage:
“Like many Americans, small business is part of my family history,” she said. “My grandfather owned a landscaping
business in Indianapolis. And nearly 50 years ago, my uncle returned home with a degree in pharmacy from Howard University,
and he couldn’t find a job. So my grandfather helped him build his own community pharmacy to serve the African-American
community. Since then, the spirit of entrepreneurship has been at the core of my personal and professional life.”