Maryland 529 Board
Nancy K. Kopp, Board Chair, has been the Treasurer of the State of Maryland since February 2002. Prior to that she served in the Maryland House of Delegates for over 27 years. She has served as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and Economic Development for the past seven years and served as Assistant Majority Leader and Speaker Pro Tem in the House of Delegates.
Peter Franchot was elected Maryland's 33rd Comptroller on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006. Prior to his election to statewide office, Comptroller Franchot served 20 years in the Maryland General Assembly, in the House of Delegates, representing the residents of Silver Spring and Takoma Park. During his time in the House of Delegates, Peter was a member of the Appropriations Committee and served as Chairman of the Transportation & the Environment Subcommittee. Through his career, he has been a strong advocate for education, health care, transportation and environmental protection initiatives.
Carol Beatty currently serves as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Disabilities. Prior to her appointment in 2015, Secretary Beatty was the Executive Director of The Arc of Howard County, a private, non-profit organization which provides advocacy and support services for more than 750 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities along with their families. She also held roles in an executive-level capacity at Alternative Living, Inc., and Bello Machre, Inc., both dedicated to providing quality services to individuals with disabilities. Over the past 20 years, Secretary Beatty has received numerous awards for her work on behalf of individuals with disabilities including induction into the Howard County Women's Hall of Fame in 2012 and selection as one of The Daily Record's 2013 Maryland's Top 100 Women.
Chancellor Jay A. Perman, MD, became the fifth chancellor of the University System of Maryland (USM) in January 2020. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Perman, a pediatric gastroenterologist, served as president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) for nearly a decade. As UMB president, Dr. Perman worked closely with fellow USM institutions to advance the state’s top education, workforce, and innovation priorities. Dr. Perman’s career includes service on many national and regional boards and committees, including chair of the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board, as well as the boards of the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans, the Children’s Cancer Foundation, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
James D. Fielder, Jr., Secretary of Higher Education, is a highly regarded executive and public servant with a passion for leading change. He is focused on improving the economic well-being of Marylanders through educational and business opportunity. He has served four Maryland governors, lending his talents and expertise in numerous leadership capacities. Some of these include his current position as Secretary of Higher Education; Secretary of Appointments for Governor Hogan; Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation; Acting Secretary for Business and Economic Development; and Member of Governor-elect Hogan’s Transition Team. He also served as Towson University’s Vice President of Finance and Administration. Secretary Fielder received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Michigan State University, and his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Mohammed Choudhury, became Maryland State Superintendent of Schools on July 1, 2021. Prior to joining MSDE, Mr. Choudhury served as Associate Superintendent and Chief Strategy, Talent and Innovation Officer for the San Antonio Independent School District. Prior to his appointment in San Antonio, Choudhury led transformation and innovation efforts for the Dallas Independent School District which has been recognized as a national model for launching and scaling transformation initiatives. He started his career as a classroom teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District where he earned accolades for his innovative work to partner with non-profit organizations to provide students with additional support in middle school. Mr. Choudhury holds a Master’s degree in Urban Schooling from the Teacher Education Program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Samuel N. Gallo is the Chief Investment Officer of the University System of Maryland Foundation and is responsible for the investment of endowment and operating fund assets for the benefit of 23 higher education institutions within the State of Maryland. Mr. Gallo's prior experience includes leadership roles with financial service provider PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), investment consulting firm Ennis Knupp & Associates, and as a senior portfolio manager/trader at Goldenberg Hehmeyer & Company. Sam is a former board member of the Managed Funds Association (MFA) and its Center for Alternative Investment Education and an advisory board member to several investment industry forums, including the Milken Institute Global Capital Markets Advisory Council. Mr. Gallo earned a Masters in Business Administration with Honors from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and two Bachelor of Science degrees with High Honors in both Accounting and Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
Jessica E. McClain, is the Controller for Brand USA. Before joining Brand USA and has spent 11 years in public accounting. Ms. McClain is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), a Project Management Professional (PMP), and a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) and serves on various volunteer committees with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is a Trustee for the AICPA Foundation. Ms. McClain holds a Bachelor of Science from Towson University and a Masters of Accountancy from George Washington University.
Joanna Pratt is the Managing Director of Markets and Risk for the Johns Hopkins University Investment Office. Before coming to Johns Hopkins, Ms. Pratt was the Director of Risk at Stanford Management Company. Between college and business school, Ms. Pratt spent 5 years at Citadel Investment Group where she was a portfolio manager in energy commodities. Ms. Pratt holds an MBA from Stanford University, an AB in Economics and Certificate in Finance from Princeton University, and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Peter Tsirigotis is a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Corporate practice group. He provides legal advice to financial institutions, asset managers, investment advisers and institutional investors to help them develop and maintain financial products while navigating the regulatory landscape. Prior to joining is Greenberg Traurig, Mr. Tsirigotis was Co-Chair of Private Investment Funds for Stradley Ronon. Prior to joining Stradley Ronon, Mr. Tsirigotis was senior vice president at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, where he led the investment management funds risk, operations and governance group. Mr. Tsirigotis holds a BA in Economics and Political Science from Boston University, a JD from Catholic University and an LLM in International Business and Economic Law from Georgetown University.
Rev. Dr. Lisa M. Weah, is a civil engineer with experience in land development, roadways, and drainage systems. Rev. Dr. Weah has worked on several major land development projects including M&T Bank Stadium, Strathmore Mansion, Johns Hopkins Advanced Research Center, and Quantico Marine Base. In addition to serving as a public member on the Maryland 529 Board, Rev. Dr. Weah is the Senior Pastor at the New Bethlehem Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD and is the Chair of the Sandtown Resident Action Committee.
Board Vice Chair - Geoffrey F. Newman, Designee for Maryland Higher Education Commission
Board Secretary - Justin Hayes, Designee for the Comptroller of the State of Maryland