Marjorie G. Elsten, a retired federal official who helped develop policies for the old Civil Service Commission and the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare, died March 2 at Springhouse of Bethesda assisted living facility. She was 94.

She had complications from a stroke, her daughter, Jane Elsten, said.

In the 1940s, Mrs. Elsten worked in Washington for the Civil Service Commission and later worked in London for the U.N. Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. After returning to Washington, she rejoined the Civil Service Commission and served as a legislative liaison, among other roles. She helped implement the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959.

She later transferred to HEW, where she helped set up Head Start programs nationwide. After retiring from HEW in the late 1970s, she was a consultant on legislative planning and administration for several years.

Hanna Marjorie Goldman was born in Chicago and was a 1939 graduate of the University of Chicago and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.

She was a member of civic groups in the District’s Burleith neighborhood.

Her husband, Harold Elsten, died in 1953. Their son, John L. Elsten, died in 1996.

Besides her daughter, of McLean, Va., survivors include two granddaughters.

— Matt Schudel