Marilyn works closely with the County's Department of Economic Development, Chambers of Commerce, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC), and others to attract new jobs and retain existing jobs here in Franklin County. She is a former Board Chair at MORPC, and serves on the Boards of Columbus 2020 and the US Global Leadership Coalition. In 2016, Marilyn was honored to receive the Ohio Minority Business Enterprise (Ohio MBE) Frank W. Watson Advocacy award.
Marilyn is taking an active leadership role in the planning of the County’s new Public Safety Center, and her work as chair of the Franklin County Reentry Coalition underscores her focus on smart and fair justice. Marilyn is Vice Chair of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio’s Justice and Public Safety Committee. At the national level, she serves as the Vice Chair for the Courts and Corrections subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety at the National Association of Counties (NACo).
Marilyn’s stewardship of the construction of Huntington Park, the Common Pleas Courthouse, and the Franklin County Dog Shelter, and the renovation of the Judicial Services Building, have led to national recognition of these projects for job creation, quality contracting and construction standards, and award-winning design, construction, sustainability, accessibility, and fiscal stewardship.
She recognizes the importance of community enrichment – especially the arts and culture as it both enriches community and education for our kids and adults and provides for many jobs. She was named as one of the 25 Most Influential People by Shadowbox Live in 2014, and serves on the NACo National Arts Consortium and Large Urban Counties Caucus.
On issues of human rights and equality, Marilyn carries her family's long tradition of Tikkun Olam, or Repairing the World, with her as she works on behalf of women's rights, diversity and inclusion for all people, and open and equitable access to education, housing, and government. She is a vocal advocate for social justice and progressive issues. She has served on the Board of Directors of The Center for Family Safety & Healing and on the advisory council of CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence, and is a leader against family violence in all its forms.
Additionally, Marilyn is active as a leader in the movements for LGBTQ and marriage equality, for women's reproductive and educational freedoms, for the reintegration into society's fabric for ex-offenders, for protection of workers’ safety and right to organize. She leads with an ongoing commitment to the care, safety, and education of our County's most vulnerable residents because every family in our community deserves a safe, stable and nurturing place to call home.
Marilyn’s office staff takes to heart that every initiative and policy should be viewed through a lens of social justice. Her middle grandson, Max, gave the office its focus and mandate when, at age 8, he attended a staff meeting and declared, “You are doing a lot of things. You should take the good things that work and do more of that.”
Marilyn Brown has been elected by the voters of Franklin County to serve as Commissioner in 2006, 2010, and 2014. She has been selected by her colleagues to serve as Commission President in 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2015.
Prior to elected office, Marilyn had extensive experience in public service working in economic development, social justice, race relations, and fair housing. She holds a masters' degree in organizational development from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, and is the author of a chapter entitled “What’s Important Now” in the book Women on Fire, vol 2. She and her husband, former Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Eric Brown, have two daughters - Beryl and her husband Andrew; and Daryn. The Browns have three grandsons, Vincent, Max and Alex. She and Eric are members of Congregation Tifereth Israel.