Prominent 529 exec Jackie Williams to step down from Ohio Tuition Trust Authority

Leading authority to be executive director at New America Foundation’s College Savings Initiative

May 11, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

By Charles Paikert

Jacqueline “Jackie” Williams, a leading figure in the Section 529 college savings plan industry, is leaving her job as executive director of the Columbus-based Ohio Tuition Trust Authority to become director of New America Foundation’s College Savings Initiative, effective June 1.

“It was the right opportunity to stay in an industry I really love,” she said. “Through the initiative, I’ll be able to work to extend benefits of saving for college to a broader economic group and to help moderate and low-income families.”

Ms. Williams is also spokeswoman for the Lexington, Ky.-based College Savings Plans Network, an industry association of state 529 plan administrators, and is a past chairwoman of the organization.

“She has advanced the interests of the industry on the program level in Ohio and on the national level as a public spokesperson, talking to members of Congress and testifying before congressional hearings,” said industry veteran Joe Hurley, president and chief executive of Pittsford, N.Y.-based savingforcollege.com LLC.

Ms. Williams also helped popularize the use of certificates of deposits as an investment option in 529 accounts, bringing CDs from Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank into Ohio’s $955 million direct-sold College Advantage plan in 2007.

The New America Foundation, a Washington- based think tank, launched the College Savings Initiative as a joint venture with the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis earlier this year.

The initiative held its first policy research round table on tax policy and 529 programs in April and will hold a round-table meeting on financial aid and 529 plans on June 12.

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