The Washington Post

Marjorie Coffin, Foreign Service officer

Marjorie Coffin, 63, who retired in 2007 as deputy director of the State Department’s Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, died Sept. 8 at her mother’s home in Hagerstown, Md.

She had cancer, said her mother, Doris Dillon.

Ms. Coffin, an Arlington County resident, joined the State Department in 1975 and worked in the embassies in Guatemala, Japan and Costa Rica. She transferred to the U.S. Information Agency in 1988 and worked in cultural affairs in Turkey and Spain, as well as at the U.S. consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico. She was the director of the Cuba, Mexico and Panama office from 1996 to 1998. Before USIA duties were folded into the State Department in 1999, Ms. Coffin served as the public-affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador.

From 2002 to 2006, she was the cultural-affairs officer for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, during which she served on the Fulbright Commission Board, which helps facilitate educational and cultural exchanges.

Marjorie Coffin was born in El Paso and was a 1971 theater arts graduate of American University.

She received multiple Meritorious Service Awards for her government service.

She was a soprano with the Capitol Hill Chorale in the 1990s and was a volunteer at Inova Alexandria Hospital.

In addition to her mother, Doris Dillon of Hagerstown, survivors include a stepbrother, Dan Dillon of Triangle.

— Megan McDonough

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