Marilyn Rice is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of merci (Marilyn E Rice Consulting International), an international consulting firm based in Washington, DC but with global reach. It specializes in advising on best practices and problem solving related to promoting equity in health and development. Until June of 2011 she was the Senior Advisor in Health Promotion and Coordinator of the Urban Health and Determinants of Health Team for the Area of Sustainable Development and Environmental Health for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). She has over 30 years of experience working in a multi-cultural, multi-lingual environment, often playing the role of a facilitator to help ensure clear communication and collaborative efforts in developing and implementing initiatives.
She has done extensive work to support systematic evaluation and documentation of health education and promotion experiences in countries throughout the world and she coordinated and oriented technical cooperation activities in the areas of health promotion, social determinants of health, urban health and development, community mobilization, and implementation of healthy public policies. She has worked for PAHO for 22 years and the Global Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) for 7. She has also held the position of Project Director of the National Resource Center for Prevention of Perinatal Abuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs and Branch Chief of the Perinatal Branch for the US Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (part of the US Department of Health and Human Services). She holds a degree in sociology and masters training in public health and health education.
She is known throughout the world for her work in community development, social mobilization, health promotion and education, as well as for her leadership in the emerging field of urban health. She has been very active in the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), serving multiple terms as Regional Director, the Regional Vice President for the North American Regional Office (NARO) and sitting on the Global and NARO Boards. Additionally, she was a founding member and the Chair for many years of Society of Public Health Education’s (SOPHE) International and Cross-Cultural Health (ICCH) Community of Practice. She is on the editorial board of numerous peer review journals in the fields of health promotion and education