Mary G. Morris is the Chief Executive Officer of Virginia529, a role she has held since October 2007. She directs and manages the operations, resources, and investments of Virginia529, the largest 529 plan in the country, and is involved in state and federal legislative and governance issues relating to the 529 industry.
Mary came to Virginia529 from the national law firm of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP. As a tax, securities and bond expert, Mary was brought to the firm’s Institutional Investor Client Services Group for her extensive knowledge of public financing issues and public service experience to expand the law firm’s practice to state and local pension funds and other institutional investors. Her prior work focused on corporate governance initiatives and standards.
Prior to joining Kaplan Fox in 2002, Mary served a term as Treasurer of Virginia, appointed in 1999. As State Treasurer, she was the chief executive of the Department of the Treasury, which serves as the Commonwealth’s chief cash and debt manager and manages the concentration, investment, and disbursement of all State funds. She was responsible for the investment of the Commonwealth’s General Fund and the issuance and management of all Commonwealth debt, serving as Chairman of the Commonwealth Treasury Board and as a member of eleven other Commonwealth boards, including Virginia529.
From 1994–98, Mary served as the Senior Assistant Attorney General for Finance and Tax in the Office of the Attorney General, responsible for the legal work for 16 client agencies, boards and authorities including the Office of the Secretary of Finance, Department of the Treasury, Department of Taxation, Virginia Retirement System and Higher Education Tuition Trust Fund (now Virginia529). At the beginning of her legal career, Mary served as a tax and bond lawyer.
Mary earned a Juris Doctor and Master of Law and Taxation from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. She is active in two national 529 organizations, serving as Past Chair of the Board of the College Savings Foundation, Chairman of the Federal Initiatives Committee of the College Savings Plans Network and a member of the National Association of State Treasurers Legislative Committee. She is a member of the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA). Mary is a frequent speaker on college savings and higher education issues.