The official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

Council Staff - Mary Catherine Pleffner

Pleffner Bio Picture Mary Catherine Pleffner
    Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration



 Mrs. Mary Catherine Pleffner is currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.

 Prior to this position, she served as the Director for Administrative Services for the Department of Commerce.  In this position, Mrs. Pleffner oversaw Departmental policy and programs for a variety of administrative functions, including energy and environmental management, real and personal property, and travel and transportation, among others.  She also had operational responsibility for Commerce  Headquarters,  and  is  overseeing  the  $800  million  renovation/modernization  of  the historic Herbert C. Hoover Building.  Ms. Pleffner holds a Masters of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and a Masters in Management from Purdue University.

Prior to this position, Mrs. Pleffner was detailed to the U.S. Africa Command in February 2008, to assist in standing up the Command, serving first as the Deputy Director for Resources, then as Special Assistant to the Commander, U.S. Africa Command.  Prior to her assignment to the Africa Command, Mrs. Pleffner served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management Services and Chief Financial Officer for Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).  Her responsibilities included administration and execution of EDA’s $250 million Economic Development  Assistance  Program,  management  of  an  $800  million  Revolving  Loan  Fund Program, and supervision of EDA’s six regional offices and operations.  As EDA’s senior career SES member, Mrs. Pleffner served as the Assistant Secretary’s policy advisor and senior spokesperson to OMB and Congress on budget, program and organizational matters.

Mrs. Pleffner began her federal career in 1989 as the Chief of Fiscal Operations at the Aircraft Repair and Supply Center for the U.S. Coast Guard in North Carolina.  In 1994, Mrs. Pleffner transferred to Major Systems Acquisition for Information Technology at Coast Guard Headquarters. Following her service with the Coast Guard, Mrs. Pleffner served as the Assistant Inspector General for Management at the U.S. Agency for International Development until 1999, when she moved to EDA.   Prior to her service with the Federal Government, Mrs. Pleffner was Comptroller for the Prince George’s Private Industry Council.  Mrs. Pleffner began her professional career in 1988 working for M.T. Charlton and Associates as a staff accountant and auditor.

Major Awards and Honors
Department of Defense Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award
2004 Presidential Rank Award – Distinguished Level
Department of Commerce Gold Award for Leadership
Department of Commerce Silver Award for Meritorious Federal Service

Mrs. Pleffner is the mother of eight children, five of whom are Russian adoptees.