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About Secretary Marshall

In 1996, Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall became the first woman ever elected to a statewide, executive branch office in North Carolina.

Secretary Marshall was a member of the NC State Senate before rising to statewide office. She holds a B.S. in Home Economics from the University of Maryland and a law degree from Campbell University. She has received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Campbell University, Lees-McRae College, Meredith College and the Republic of Moldova Testemitanu State University of Medicine.

Her work experiences include teaching Home Economics in the public school and community college systems, co-ownership of a book and gift store, establishing an interior decorating business and the private practice of law.

Secretary Marshall has been very active in many civic groups in the areas of child welfare, women's issues, and agriculture and small town economic development.

Since becoming Secretary of State, she has received numerous state and national awards for leadership in technology, government innovation, and women's leadership. These awards include:

  • • The NC Bar Association’s 2020 Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. Public Service Award honoring exceptional attorneys practicing in North Carolina who’ve contributed to the community with exemplary public service. Secretary Marshall is the first woman to receive the Lake Public Service Award;
  • 2019 Brand Protection Hero Award from the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP);
  • 2018 Person of the Year Award from The Women’s Business Center of North Carolina;
  • 2018 Inductee to the North Carolina Women Business Owners Hall of Fame;
  • The 2017 International Trade Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charlotte Business Journal;
  • The 2017 Woman of Achievement Award from Meredith College;
  • Leadership North Carolina’s 2016 Governor’s Award for public service and commitment to developing leaders;
  • U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors Certificate of Appreciation, 2016;
  • President of the National Association of Secretaries of State, 2015;
  • Campbell University’s 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award;
  • Induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame, Class of 2014;
  • The 2014 Public Policy Leader of the Year Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners, Charlotte;
  • The North Carolina 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award;
  • The National Foundation for Women Legislators 2013 Elected Women of Excellence Award;
  • Named to the Triangle’s 100 Most Influential Business Leaders of 2012 list by Triangle Business Journal;
  • The Moldovan Order of Honor, the highest distinction Moldova awards to non-Moldovan citizens;
  • The Distinguished Attorney Award from the NC Association of Women Attorneys. She was the second person ever to be honored with this award;
  • Induction into the Honor Society of Agriculture of N.C. State University;
  • Leadership awards from Common Cause North Carolina, the NCAE and the Delta Kappa Gamma Society;
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award for Women in Business by the Triangle Business Journal;
  • Named to National Notary Magazine's list of “The 50 Most Influential People in Notarization in the Last 50 Years”;
  • Served as President of the National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council, a think tank dedicated to bringing best technology practices to government across this country;
  • Recognized leader in state Trademark protection by the US Chamber of Commerce, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition and Underwriters Laboratories;
  • And Secretary Marshall has even received an official “Gold Record” from the Recording Industry Association of America for her law enforcement work to protect Trademarked goods and patent holders, as well as being named an honorary member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for trademark protection!

She is married to Jessie Thomas Bunn.

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