Carolyn Watts Colvin became the Acting Commissioner of Social Security on February 14, 2013. Prior to becoming the ACOSS, she served as the presidentially appointed Principal Deputy Commissioner of Social Security. ACOSS Colvin oversaw one of the largest agencies in the federal government, with more than 60,000 federal employees nationwide plus another 18,000 state employees who make medical determinations in the disability program. During her tenure, the Social Security Administration was responsible for paying more than $800 billion each year in monthly benefits to more than 60 million recipients.
ACOSS Colvin received her Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree in business administration from Morgan State University in Baltimore. Before joining Social Security, Carolyn Colvin worked for the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development and Baltimore City Health Department. She joined the state government in 1988 as Deputy Secretary in the Department of Human Resources, becoming the Secretary in 1989.
She joined Social Security in 1994, becoming the Deputy Commissioner for Policy and External Affairs. She later served as the Deputy Commissioner for Programs and Policy (1996-1998) and the Deputy Commissioner for Operations (1998-2001). After that, she left the agency for a while, serving with various state and local government agencies.
In 2010, President Obama nominated her for the position of Principal Deputy Commissioner. The United States Senate confirmed her in that position shortly thereafter and she took the position in January 2011. While Acting Commissioner, Carolyn Colvin guided the agency to provide excellent customer service in a tight fiscal climate while positioning itself to deliver services in the future that would meet the changing needs of the public. ACOSS Colvin held public service in high regard and worked to ensure that customer service was prompt, accurate, and compassionate.
Carolyn Colvin is from Arnold, Maryland. She has one son and six grandchildren.