Mary Morris

Chief Executive Officer, Virginia529
Affiliated Chapter

Session Title: What You Need to Know About Virginia529 in 2024

About Mary

Mary G. Morris is the Chief Executive Officer of Virginia529, the largest tax-advantaged education savings program in the country with the direct Invest529, advisor CollegeAmerica programs and Defined Benefit 529 Program; Virginia529 launched tax-advantaged disability savings program ABLEnow in 2016 and ABLEAmerica in 2018. Virginia529 is developing a state-facilitated private retirement program to open by mid-2023. Virginia529 sponsors SOAR Virginia, an early commitment scholarship program, and administers a variety of scholarship and education access, affordability, and attainment initiatives to foster equity and inclusion in educational access and help make postsecondary education more affordable and accessible to all Virginians.

Mary works with the executive team to develop the strategic vision for the future and coordinates the operations, resources, outreach, and investments of Virginia529; she is involved in state and federal legislative and governance issues relating to 529, ABLE and private retirement initiatives and policy. Mary is a lawyer and spent many years in private practice specializing in tax, public finance, securities and ESG matters.  In the public sector, earlier in her career she served as a Virginia Senior Assistant Attorney General for Tax and Finance and later served a term as the Treasurer of Virginia.

Mary earned her 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 both national 529 organizations, and the College Savings Plans Network where she serves on the executive leadership team as Vice-Chair and a member of the National Association of State Treasurers Legislative Committee, and the College Savings Foundation, where she is a former Board Chair and member of the Media Committee.  Mary is a member of the boards of the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE) and the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) and a former member of the board of Junior Achievement of Central Virginia (JACV). She is a member of the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) and the Virginia State Bar.  Mary is a frequent national speaker on education savings, the future of higher education and workforce training and disability savings.