Mary is an historian of U.S. History, gender studies, race, and history of the Maasai people. Mary earned her doctorate from Rutgers University in 2000 following a career in public policy with the Washington State Senate. She is the author of The Segregated Origins of Social Security: African Americans and the Welfare State (Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2006), and the forthcoming Dapash and Poole, Decolonizing History in Maasailand. 

Mary Co-Directs MERC with Meitamei Olol Dapash, and the U.S. side of the Dopoi Center Collective.