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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.
Debra J. Chromy, Ed.D.
Debra Chromy is the President of Education Finance Council (EFC), the national association representing nonprofit and state-based higher education finance organizations. Dr. Chromy leads EFC’s advocacy efforts on regulatory and legislative issues related to student loans and higher education. She collaborates with all EFC members, EFC’s Board of Directors, staff, the Administration, Congress, and other industry groups, facilitating and promoting EFC’s goals and initiatives. In addition, Dr. Chromy works to develop and implement member services and operational and communications strategies.
Dr. Chromy has worked in the student loan industry her entire career, for a student loan lender of both private and federal loans, a student loan servicer, and a federal loan guarantor. Prior to EFC, Dr. Chromy served as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for American Student Assistance (ASA), where she was a leader in ASA’s corporate strategic planning process and managed ASA’s external relationships and partnerships, including federal and state governments, colleges and universities, higher education associations, and other student loan industry organizations.
Dr. Chromy received an A.B. in economics from Smith College, an M.B.A. from Boston University, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Chromy currently volunteers as a member of the Board of Directors of the Smith College Club of Washington, DC; Vice Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Executive Doctorate Alumni Advisory Board; and Chair of the Legislative Task Force for the Municipal Bonds for America Coalition.
Gail daMota is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Education Finance Council. She joined EFC in June 2001 as the Federal Relations Director. In her current role as Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, her primary responsibilities are: ensuring the efficient operations of EFC, including corporate governance policy development and implementation, acting as staff liaison to the Board of Directors and EFC committees, membership services, and program development, as well as all aspects of meeting and event planning. She is also responsible for EFC’s IT and asset management, and she works collaboratively with EFC team members on regulatory and statutory issues affecting the EFC membership. Ms. daMota has presented at several industry conferences.
Ms. daMota came to EFC 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), reporting directly to the President. Prior to CSLF, she was the Vice President of Operations with KISSsystems, a financial aid third-party servicer and software developer of an integrated student records management and financial aid processing software. Before joining KISSsystems, Ms. daMota was a financial aid director and trade school owner. She served as Treasurer of the Connecticut Cosmetology School Association and developed several continuing education programs. She served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Cosmetology Schools and on their Government Relations Committee.
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.
Meghan Lustig is the Director of Policy and Communications for Education Finance Council. In this role, she manages EFC’s state and federal policy strategies, providing EFC members with regular updates, recommendations, and support on relevant issues. She also works with EFC staff to develop and implement 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.
Alison Gerzina is the Membership Services Associate. In this role, she supports EFC staff as it relates to delivering services to EFC’s members. Alison works to enhance the effectiveness of EFC communications, operations, and delivery of EFC’s value proposition to its members.
Ms. Gerzina came to EFC from the Washington Institute for Business, Government, and Society. She worked in Communications and Business Development, where she was responsible for market and grant research, designing infographics, creating marketing materials, and publishing digital content.
Ms. Gerzina has an M.A. in Ethics, Peace, and Human Rights from American University and a B.S. in Media and Communications, with a minor in English, from Florida State University. She played two years of collegiate volleyball at Pensacola State College. A Florida native, she now resides in Washington, D.C.