Mary Sowers Named New NASDDDS Executive Director
The Board of Directors of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services has named Mary Sowers to replace Mary Lee Fay as the Association’s Executive Director. Mary has been working at NASDDDS since 2014 as the Director of Special Projects. Mary will begin the transition work immediately and assume the role of Executive Director on July 1, 2019 following Mary Lee’s retirement
“I am so grateful to the NASDDDS Board of Directors for the opportunity to serve as the association’s Executive Director. It is my great honor and privilege to support all of our members in their vital work on behalf individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Throughout my entire career, NASDDDS has been a tremendous source of information and support to me personally, so it is especially meaningful for me to work with such an amazing team and for such an amazing organization. NASDDDS has a rich history of values-based policy leadership, and it will be my great pleasure to help us continue those important efforts.”
State and Federal Government Service. Ms. Sowers has worked at both the state and federal levels. Ms. Sowers led Maryland’s efforts around home and community based services for individuals with I/DD in the early 2000s, and later served in multiple leadership roles within the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, focusing on Medicaid long-term services and supports. Immediately preceding her time at NASDDDS, Ms. Sowers provided consultation to state governments on many aspects of LTSS through her work with Mercer Government Human Services Consulting.
“My most satisfying work experience was in state government where we worked together – state and staff, families, individuals with disabilities, providers and other advocates – to make sure that people with I/DD could fully participate in the community and lead good and satisfying lives.”
Current Work. Since joining NASDDDS in 2014, Mary has worked to provide technical assistance to many state members on their systems of support for individuals with I/DD. She also continues long-standing partnerships with Federal agencies, providing input on and suggestions for national policy strategies to further opportunities for individuals with I/DD to live and thrive in their homes and communities. Ms. Sowers also has had the opportunity to regularly work closely with a number of key research and policy partners on projects essential to the field of I/DD nationally.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware.