5 in 5: Mary Marx, Pace Center for Girls’ President and Chief Executive Officer

Results for America
3 min readFeb 9, 2021

Results for America Fellowship Alumni give five answers in five minutes. This month, we caught up with Mary Marx, President and Chief Executive Officer for Pace Center for Girls.

  1. Summarize what you do and how you do it.
    Pace Center for Girls works to ensure that all girls and young women have power in a just and equitable society by focusing on those who have experienced significant trauma in their young lives and helping them find hope, love, and change, at home, in school and in their communities.
  2. Share something exciting that you’re working on.
    Girls’ experiences in communities across the country are greatly affected by many factors related to their community conditions. These factors may vary in each community, but often include limitations in access to appropriate services, resources, and a lack of awareness of girls’ needs. Furthermore, existing systems designed to support girls, often end up serving as barriers to their success. Pace recently developed a model to disrupt this dynamic through a data-driven approach that engages community collaborators, including girls themselves, to identify and address specific issues, systems, policies, and practices to improve the overall well-being of girls in communities across the country.
  3. Tell us one thing you learned from someone else during your RFA Fellowship.
    One of the challenges we were facing was taking our model to scale outside of Florida. While we had successfully “gone to scale” in one state, we were challenged by how to successfully reproduce our results in another. I learned a great deal from Dale Erquiaga, Sam Schaeffer, Liz Bender, and Molly Baldwin on how to think about replicating our services, where and how to grow, and the importance of good data to support experimentation in strategy.
  4. If you could wave a magic wand and have any data or evidence, what would it be?
    My magic wand would provide long-term longitudinal data after completion of Pace, 10–15 years out, for all the girls and young women we serve. It would be powerful to tell the story of how each of our girls defined what a fulfilling life means to them, and the journeys they took as they became members of the workforce, our community leaders and the next generation of mothers impacting society. I would specifically want to focus on how their self-efficacy and self-advocacy skills have impacted their education, employment, and families.
  5. What’s the [pick-your-adjective] job you’ve ever had?
    I have been at Pace for almost 14 years and I can unequivocally say that this is the most rewarding job I have ever had, with so many opportunities for me to learn and grow and most significantly, to help change the life trajectory of thousands of girls and young women.

Mary Marx participated in Results for America’s What Works Nonprofit Fellowship.

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Results for America

Working with decision-makers at all levels of government to harness the power of evidence and data to solve the world’s greatest challenges.