Marina Harrison

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Marina Harrison Cooper
Beauty pageant titleholder
Born Marina Harrison
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Hair color Brown
Eye color Brown
Title(s) Miss Maryland 2003
Miss Maryland USA 2005
Miss America 2004 (3rd runner-up)
Miss USA 2005 (Top 10)

Marina Harrison Cooper (born 1981) is a former beauty queen from Maryland who was the first woman to represent that state at both Miss USA and Miss America.

Marina was born in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, grew up as a military brat, living in locations all around the United States.[1]



Marina entered her first pageant at age 21 in the hope of gaining scholarship money after her parents were unable to pay her tuition costs.[1] Harrison first competed in the Miss Maryland 2002 pageant held in June 2002, where she placed fourth runner-up. She returned in 2003 as Miss Burtonsville, and won the Miss Maryland 2003 title.[2] Marina represented Maryland in the Miss America 2004 pageant held in Atlantic City, New Jersey in September 2003. She placed third runner-up in the nationally televised pageant, which was won by Ericka Dunlap of Florida.

After giving up her Miss Maryland crown, Marina competed in and won the Miss Maryland USA pageant, which was held in North Bethesda, Maryland in December 2004. Representing Maryland in the Miss USA 2005 pageant held in Baltimore in her home state in April 2005, Harrison placed in the top ten, and was the first delegate from Maryland to make the cut since 1995. In November 2005 she passed on her crown to Melissa DiGiulian of Ocean City who has been her first runner-up the year previously.

Education and Employment[edit]

Marina attended Meade Senior High School in Ft. Meade, Maryland. She received a bachelor's degree in Communication from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2003 after collecting more than $52,000 in scholarship money from her pageant participation.[1] Her aspiration is to become White House press secretary[3] and she has been active in all levels of politics. She worked in the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State in Arlington, Virginia for three years.[1] She was employed as the Public Information Officer and Director of International Affairs for the Maryland office of the Secretary of State in the Governor's Executive Department.[1] She has previously worked for the Maryland Department of Education and was involved with the former First Lady of Maryland Kendel Ehrlich's Maryland Teen Advisory Council initiatives.[3] Her first experience with the public education policy came when she was by her peers and appointed by the governor to be the Anne Arundel County Student Board Member at age seventeen. At the time she was the only full voting student board member in the United States.[4]

In 2007 Marina became the new special assistant to Anne Arundel County executive John R. Leopold, with responsibility for communications, media and policy.[5]In 2008, Marina was hired as the Deputy Director for the Office of the President at Towson University, a position she currently holds.[6]

Personal Life[edit]

Marina has been married since 2007 to Lawyer and Technology Entrepreneur, Luke Cooper. They live in Baltimore, Maryland with their children Olivia and Lucas.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Marina Harrison profile" (PDF). Annapolis Chamber of Commerce. 
  2. ^ Turn for the Judges, Miss Maryland 2003 pageant summary (accessed 2006-09-04)
  3. ^ a b Willis, Roderick (2005-08-15). "Miss Maryland has ambitions beyond beauty pageant". AFRO News. Retrieved 2006-09-04. 
  4. ^ Marina Harrison biography, Miss Maryland USA official website (accessed 2006-09-04)
  5. ^ "Harrison picked as Leopold assistant". Baltimore Sun. 2007-07-11. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Tia Shorts
Miss Maryland USA
Succeeded by
Melissa DiGiulian