Mary Stephens began her working career in Washington, D.C. where she moved after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 1979. Born and raised in Oakland, California, Mary spent 3 years back east working for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a higher education association.
Mary returned to California in 1983 to work for the University of California’s Office of the President for 13 years. During this time Mary pursued a Masters of Business Administration at UCLA.
In 1997 Mary joined the California State University system, starting her tenure at the just forming CSU Channel Islands campus, then spending 10 years at CSU Stanislaus, and finally joining the executive team at CSU Long Beach in January 2008. She is responsible for the financial oversight of a $500 million-institution. Her direct responsibilities include budget and financial management (including the campus endowment), facilities planning and management, staff human resources, and the campus police force.