Mary Sowers

Ms. Sowers is Executive Director at National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), Inc. She has experience in both the public and private sectors, having worked at Mercer Government Human Services Consulting providing technical assistance to states on a wide range of Medicaid-related issues, with a focus on community-based long-term services and supports. Prior to working at Mercer, Ms. Sowers worked for CMS in the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group (DEHPG), where she specialized in community LTSS, managed LTSS, self-direction, and person-centered systems. Key areas of expertise: program design; Medicaid compliance; managed LTSS.

Ms. Sowers joined NASDDDS in 2014. Immediately prior to joining, she provided consultation and technical assistance to state governments on a wide array of Medicaid-related issues with Mercer, with a focus on home and community-based services and managed long-term services and supports.

Prior to joining Mercer in 2011, Ms. Sowers held senior positions with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), DEHPG within the Center for Medicaid, CHIP and Survey and Certification. During her tenure at CMS, Mary specialized in Medicaid home and community based services, managed long term services and supports (including strategies for reducing institutional reliance), self-direction, and strategies to design person-centered systems of care.

In her various roles at CMS (including Technical Director for Home and Community-Based Services, Division Director for Community and Institutional Services, and Senior Policy Advisor), Ms. Sowers regularly developed policy and tools on waivers and demonstrations and provided technical assistance and support to CMS leadership and staff nationally. She also regularly worked with state Medicaid programs in the development and implementation of these programs. While at CMS, Ms. Sowers also collaborated extensively with partners across many components within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal agencies interested in and leading efforts with implications for individuals with disabilities, individuals who are aging and individuals with chronic conditions.

Before joining CMS, Ms. Sowers led Maryland's efforts around home and community-based services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). In that role, she managed two waivers serving more than 10,000 individuals, served as primary legislative contact on ID/DD issues for the department, and led stakeholder input and advisory efforts, with a focus on building partnerships with self-advocates and families.