Our Team

The EFC team is a group of talented and dedicated professionals whose collective experience and expertise ranges across the key institutions and fields pertinent to advocacy of higher education access, affordability, and success. Their knowledge and expertise is available for individual member assistance and technical and programmatic assistance.

Gail daMota


Gail daMota is the President of Education Finance Council (EFC), the national trade association representing nonprofit and state-based higher education finance organizations. EFC members strive to increase postsecondary access, affordability, and success for millions of students and their families by offering the resources needed to successfully plan, save, and pay for college. In her role as President, Ms. daMota leads EFC’s advocacy efforts on legislative and regulatory issues related to higher education finance. She works collaboratively with the EFC Team, all EFC members, Board of Directors, the Administration, Congress, and other industry groups to promote EFC’s goals and initiatives and to identify and develop opportunities for EFC and its members.

Prior to her role as President, Ms. daMota served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Education Finance Council where her primary responsibilities were to ensure the efficient operations of EFC, including corporate governance policy development, membership services, conference and program development, and Federal relations. Ms. daMota has been a key member of EFC’s leadership team through its development into a highly respected organization.

Ms. daMota came to EFC in 2001 with more than a decade of experience in higher education, strategic planning, and personnel management and development. Prior to joining EFC, Ms. daMota was the Director of Federal Relations for the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation (CSLF), serving as the primary point of contact between CSLF and the Connecticut congressional delegation and federal regulatory agencies. Prior to CSLF, she was the Vice President of Operations for a financial aid third-party servicer and financial aid software firm.

Ms. daMota has a B.S. in Business Finance from Arizona State University. She is a native of New England and currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

Alex Ricci

Vice President of Government Affairs & Communications

Alex Ricci is the Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications. In his role, Mr. Ricci executes EFC’s integrated media and public policy strategy to improve postsecondary education access and affordability. He works with a wide range of stakeholders in the federal agencies, U.S. Congress, state governments, and press to advance EFC’s mission.

Mr. Ricci came to EFC from the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor. As a Speechwriter, Mr. Ricci authored talking points advancing senior representatives’ education and workforce development policy positions. Prior to that, he served as the Committee’s higher education policy expert. Mr. Ricci’s bipartisan collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and other House and Senate offices resulted in several laws improving students’ lives.

Mr. Ricci earned his B.A. in Political Science from St. John’s University in Minnesota. A native of Minnesota, he currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

Meghan Lustig

Vice President of Operations & Development

Meghan Lustig is the Vice President of Operations and Development for Education Finance Council. In this role, she implements strategic initiatives that carry out EFC’s mission and assure the association’s long-term growth and sustainability. She also manages daily operations, accounting, human resources and employee benefits, conference and event planning, and corporate governance policies.

Ms. Lustig previously served as EFC’s Director of Policy and Communications, managing EFC’s state and federal policy strategies, and developing member services, including annual publications, partnerships, and events. Ms. Lustig came to EFC from Communities In Schools, where she managed a comprehensive federal and state government relations strategy and worked to elevate the profile of the organization as a national leader on key issues. Prior to joining CIS, she was Office Manager at Rock Creek Global Advisors, where she was responsible for finance, schedule coordination, and operations.

Ms. Lustig has a M.A. in Education Policy from George Washington University and a B.A. in History from the State University of New York at Albany. She is a native of New York and currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Tara Sciortino

Associate of Communications & Member Services

Tara Sciortino is the Associate of Communications and Membership Services for Education Finance Council. In this role, she provides support to EFC members by delivering high-quality services and member engagement opportunities, in addition to promoting and strengthening the collective brand of EFC’s state-based and nonprofit member organizations.

Ms. Sciortino previously interned at the U.K Parliament and British Embassy in Washington D.C., where she worked to further strengthen U.S and U.K relations. Prior to joining EFC, Ms. Sciortino was a Programme Representative at UCL ensuring students’ and alumni interests were accounted for in the university’s future development.

Ms. Sciortino has an MSc in European Politics and Policy from the University College London and a B.A. in Politics from the Catholic University of America. She grew up in Florida and currently resides in Alexandria, VA.