Merril _Oliver

Merril Oliver

former Director, MD Governor’s Grants Office, State of Maryland

Having served four governors, both Democratic and Republican, Merril served as the Director of the Maryland Governor's Grants Office, a nationally recognized “best practice” by the National Governors Association, where she revolutionized an enterprise approach to full lifecycle grants management during 2015-2017. In 2014, Merril served as the Deputy Director of the Puerto Rico Governor’s Office of Management and Budget in charge of the Federal Funds Management Office, where she spearheaded accountability measures, tools, and resources to position Puerto Rico as one of the leaders in federal funds management. Merril was previously the founding Deputy Director of the Maryland Governor’s Grants Office, created in 2004, serving in that capacity for ten years. During that time, Merril fast-tracked curriculum development and delivery for grants management training, and spearheaded implementation of grants management efficiencies and best practices across state agencies. The results for Maryland were a decrease in Single Audit findings of more than 70% over a three-year period and an increase of $3 billion during the ARRA era beginning in 2009.

Merril is a past president of the National Grants Management Association (NGMA), having served three consecutive terms (2009-2012). During her presidency, Merril launched the industry-recognized standard professional certification of Certified Grants Management Specialist (CGMS®) and participated on the credentialing exam development team as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Merril was awarded the CGMS credential for her work as an SME, developing the CGMS exam questions in 2012. Merril also built a strong alliance between the NGMA and the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), where synergy exists to promote collaboration on fiscal and program problem solving.


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