Marilyn Rios

Marilyn joins Engaged Leadership with over 30 years of experience successfully inspiring leaders, building teams and growing organizations. She is astute at helping to see the big picture while getting bottom-line results through relationship building and effective communications. She believes that when a leader, team or individual knows where they are heading, achieving greatness is simply a matter of tapping into their inner compass.

Marilyn enjoys a distinguished career with the Department of Defense, holding top leadership assignments in C130 Airlift operations, Combat Search and Rescue, Space, Intelligence, Network Defense, expeditionary communications, and more. She is combat seasoned, literally, as one of the first senior military officers to establish a full-fledged military “city” overseas just days prior to the United States’ invasion into Iraq. She repeated this success by expeditiously establishing a large military presence on the California border when the President ordered National Guard troops to help the US Customs and Border Patrol.

In addition to leading high-tech missions in demanding times, as Air National Guard Director of Recruiting and Retention, Marilyn oversaw over 540 recruiters and career advisors while creating the ANG’s first nationwide advertising campaign. This led to a highly competitive assignment as Legislative Fellow working for a United States Congressman. She commanded organizations with over 1240 personnel and operating budgets in excess of $56 million.

Specializing in Strategic Planning, Team Building, Leadership Development, and Organizational Ethics, Marilyn enthusiastically continues to do what she does best – influence leaders and their organizations to phenomenal outcomes.

Simply put, she is passionate about the personal and professional development of others, generating unparalleled results by unleashing the potential within each of us.


Marilyn holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Social and Public Policy) from Georgetown University,

Washington D.C., a Certificate of Christian Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from California State University at Fullerton. She graduated with academic distinction from multiple DOD courses including the USAF Personnel Officer School (Distinguished Graduate) and DOD Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (Distinguished Academic Graduate).

Further accomplishments include Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Management Development Seminar, Georgetown University Legislative Fellowship Program, Ventura County Leadership Academy, Prometheus Strategic Planning Institute, and Meyer-Briggs (MBTI) Certification. She teaches courses in Strategic Planning, Leadership Dynamics and Meeting Management.

This high-performing trailblazer is leaving military service at the rank of Colonel after having received numerous military decorations including the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star for her combat leadership and five Meritorious Service Medals. She holds a Top Secret TS-SCI security clearance.