Immediately prior, she was Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) at The White House, where she served as Acting Senior Director and Deputy Senior Director. Before the NSC, Mariju was Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State. She served as Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) at U.S. Southern Command, where she was the first POLAD to be deployed on the U.S. Navy hospital ship the USNS Comfort. She has served in diplomatic assignments in Brazil, France, Ecuador, Mexico, and Greece.
Mariju began her career at the Department of State as a Presidential Management Fellow. In Washington, she served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, and Country Desk Officer for France, Malta, and Monaco. She also served in the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism and in the Bureau of Nonproliferation.
A recipient of multiple Superior and Meritorious Honor awards, she received the Joint Civilian Service Achievement Award by the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of State’s Equal Employment Opportunity Award, and the American Foreign Service Association’s William R. Rivken Award for Constructive Dissent. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Mariju received her Bachelor of Arts from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and her Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. She is married to Royer Porras and has two sons.