The official website of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council

Council Staff - Mary Catherine Pleffner

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

Mary Catherine Pleffner currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council). Created by the RESTORE Act of 2012 and comprised of the Governors of the five Gulf Coast States and Cabinet-level officials from six federal agencies, the Council is responsible for restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast.

Prior to this position, Pleffner served as the Director for Administrative Services for the Department of Commerce. In this position, she 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 oversaw the $800 million renovation/modernization of the historic Herbert C. Hoover Building. Pleffner holds a Master of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and a Master’s in Management from Purdue University.

Prior to this position, 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, 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, Pleffner served as the Assistant Secretary’s policy advisor and senior spokesperson to OMB and Congress on budget, program, and organizational matters.

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, Pleffner transferred to Major Systems Acquisition for Information Technology at Coast Guard Headquarters. Following her service with the Coast Guard, 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, she was Comptroller for the Prince George’s Private Industry Council. Pleffner began her professional career in 1988 working for M.T. Charlton and Associates as a staff accountant and auditor.