Jonathan Witter
Chief Executive Officer

Jonathan (Jon) Witter is chief executive officer of Sallie Mae and is a member of the company’s board of directors. An industry veteran, Jon brings nearly three decades of executive leadership, banking expertise, and operational management to the company. With an extensive background in customer experience and operations, he is a demonstrated leader with proven ability to improve top- and bottom-line performance.

“I believe that financial services, done right, enables the most important moments of a customer’s life and powers their success and prosperity. As the son of an immigrant who was able to achieve the American dream because of the university education he received, I appreciate firsthand the incredible role Sallie Mae plays in changing lives for our customers and their future generations. Our orientation toward customers and transforming the customer experience will continue, if not accelerate, helping customers overcome barriers to success and establish financial independence.”

Prior to joining Sallie Mae, Jon served as executive vice president and chief customer officer for Hilton Worldwide, overseeing global brands, marketing, loyalty and partnerships, IT, and strategy teams. He also spent seven years at Capital One as president of retail and direct banking, served as chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley’s retail banking group, and was executive vice president and head of general bank distribution at Wachovia (now Wells Fargo & Co.).

Jon earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in business administration in finance and entrepreneurial management from The Wharton School.

Follow Jon on LinkedIn.

Steven J. McGarry
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

In this role, he is responsible for finance, accounting, and treasury activities, as well as equity and fixed income investor relations. He serves as the lead financial spokesperson for the company.

A 20-year veteran of Sallie Mae, Steve appreciates its entrepreneurial atmosphere. He believes in the higher education value proposition and in the company’s mission of helping students get the education and training they need to succeed in today’s complex economy.

Steve, who joined Sallie Mae in 1997 as Director, Investments, began his career in finance in 1985 with the Toronto Dominion Bank, where he held treasury positions in London and New York.

He received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the Stony Brook University and an MBA in finance from New York University.

"I feel strongly that education gives people a competitive edge, a lesson I learned from my own family. They were big believers in higher education and, as a result, my siblings and I all have degrees."

Donna Vieira
Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

In this role, Donna oversees Sallie Mae’s top line revenue growth, credit, pricing and loss mitigation, as well as products, sales, marketing, customer & digital experience, and brand.

Donna joined Sallie Mae in 2019 as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Prior to joining Sallie Mae, Donna served as chief marketing officer for consumer banking and wealth management at JPMorgan Chase. There, she led the development of strategic marketing and brand initiatives to grow deposit and investment balances and customer relationships. Prior to that, Donna served as product and marketing chief for Chase business banking, where she focused on product and innovation development. She has also held executive leadership roles at Dun & Bradstreet, Merrill Lynch, and American Express.

"Education is the foundation for success, and nobody can take it away from you. It’s also the foundation for our mission here at Sallie Mae – power confidence for students as they begin their unique journey. We are focused on helping our customers achieve access and complete their higher education, overcoming barriers to success, and striving to empower financial independence."

Donna has been recognized by Savoy Magazine as one of the “Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America.” She is also a member of The Executive Leadership Council, the pre-eminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of black executives globally.

Donna was appointed by Delaware Governor John Carney to Chair of the Office of the Treasurer’s Plans Management Board, which helps families plan and save for post-secondary education. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Delaware, offering counsel to advance strategic initiatives that promote early education, college and career readiness, and financial literacy. A staunch supporter of athletics and causes that support individuals and families with disabilities, she is also an active volunteer with Special Olympics Delaware.

Donna earned a Bachelor of Commerce from Mount Allison University, Canada, and a Master of Business Administration from Pace University.

Follow Donna on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Daniel Kennedy
Executive Vice President, Chief Operational Officer, and President of Sallie Mae Bank

In this role, Dan is responsible for the company’s technology, customer service, collections, retail deposits, and operations teams. Dan also oversees Sallie Mae’s Office of the Customer Advocate, procurement and vendor management, and the company’s facilities across the country. As Bank President, Dan is also responsible for maintaining strong relationships with our regulators.

Dan has more than 25 years of experience in the consumer finance industry. His expertise spans across information technology, marketing, advertising, database modeling and analytics, credit risk management, and call center management. Dan joined Sallie Mae in 2009 and most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer.

"My father was an educator for 45 years, so the idea of lifelong learning has long been ingrained in my DNA. Working to help students and families across the country access higher education is incredibly fulfilling. We play a role in fostering the nation’s future doctors, nurses, engineers, and teachers, and I couldn’t be prouder."

Earlier in his career, Dan was chief marketing officer and a founding partner of Credit One Financial Solutions. Before that, he spent 12 years at MBNA Corporation and held several U.S. and international leadership roles. He was previously ranked in Marketing Direct magazine’s “Power 100” as one of the most influential people in direct marketing in the United Kingdom. Prior to his banking career, Dan served as an Army Officer and has completed combat deployments to Iraq and Mogadishu, Somalia.

Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Follow Dan on LinkedIn.

Bonnie Rumbold
Chief People Officer

Bonnie is the Chief People Officer for Sallie Mae. She is responsible for engaging with the leadership team to develop strategies and institute programs to develop and nurture a mission-led culture.

With a breadth and depth of business experience that spans multiple industries and global firms, Bonnie has dedicated more than 25 years of her career to developing strategies and delivery platforms that align with business needs. Companies she has worked with and led through organizational transitions include Citi, MBNA, T. Rowe Price, and W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. Bonnie currently serves as the site leader for Sallie Mae’s corporate headquarters in Newark, Delaware, and provides leadership across all company sites for consistency in the team member experience.

As the mother of two, Bonnie understands the importance of investing in education and how challenging it can be. She is committed to creating an environment in which team members understand and appreciate not only how their efforts can help students and families save, plan, and pay for college, but also their ability to make a difference at work and in their communities.

“I’m the youngest of four, and the first in my family to attend college. I had to figure out how to pay for college, and I worked my way through. Today, I stress to my sons the importance of finding their true passion and purpose, pursuing their education, and being financially independent. Knowledge really is power — and it can never be taken away from you.”

Bonnie is also actively involved in supporting initiatives and local organizations that help economically disadvantaged young adults pursue higher education and seek employment pathways. In 2019, for her work in fostering employment opportunities for local young adults in Delaware, Bonnie was awarded the Year Up Wilmington Corporate Champion Award.

In June 2020, Bonnie was elected to the Delaware Bankers Association’s (DBA) Board of Directors to represent the local Delaware banking industry and promote educational and developmental programs.

Bonnie holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Maryland.

Follow Bonnie on LinkedIn.

Nicolas Jafarieh
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal, Government Affairs, and Communications Officer

Nic is responsible for overseeing the company’s legal matters, government affairs and public policy, corporate communications, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and reputation management.

Nic and his team of experienced professionals advise the company and our board of directors on a broad range of legal, regulatory and governance matters, from public company corporate governance, consumer protection and regulatory compliance, securities reporting and offerings, litigation, employment and benefits, equity and compensation, intellectual property, contracts, and corporate insurance. He is also responsible for driving Sallie Mae’s internal and external communications strategy, state and federal public policy, and, as a member of The Sallie Mae Fund’s Board of Directors, initiatives that support the communities in which our team members live, work, and serve.

As an immigrant and a former Sallie Mae customer himself, Nic embodies the company’s mission of making the dream of higher education a reality.

“Sallie Mae made it possible for me to attend law school. Since higher education changed my future in so many ways, I feel particularly connected with our purpose and our customers. It’s gratifying to pay it forward now, helping other students and families achieve through higher education.”

Nic joined Sallie Mae in 2008, and prior to joining Sallie Mae, Nic was in private practice, first at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld in Washington, D.C., and subsequently, at his own firm. He has counseled and represented Fortune 500 financial services, energy, and technology companies, both domestically and internationally.

Nic received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served as an editor on the Virginia Law Review. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia. Nic is an active member of the corporate counsel bar on litigation and corporate governance issues, he has also served on the boards of several non-profit organizations.

Follow Nic on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Kerri Palmer
Executive Vice President and Chief Risk and Compliance Officer

In this role, Kerri oversees Sallie Mae’s integrated risk and compliance organization.

Prior to joining Sallie Mae, Kerri served as senior vice president of risk management at Capital One. An industry veteran, she brings more than 20 years of experience in risk assessment and management, regulatory compliance, process improvement, program management, business analysis, operations leadership, and change management. Kerri has built and transformed programs in enterprise risk, operational risk, cyber and technology risk, internal and external fraud risk, third-party risk, and business continuity risk.

"My parents reinforced the value of higher education at a very young age. In fact, it wasn’t a matter of if I would go to college, but which I’d be lucky enough to attend. Coming from a family with limited means meant that we needed to explore all available options to help pay for it, including savings, scholarships, grants, and student loans, and the process wasn’t always clear. As a student then and a parent now, Sallie Mae’s mission to power confidence for students as they begin their unique journeys resonates with me fully, and I’m excited to help families find simple and clear paths forward."

Kerri earned a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and economics from Wheaton College and a Master of Science in statistics from Texas A&M University.

Follow Kerri on LinkedIn.

Daniel VanSciver
Senior Vice President and Chief Audit Officer

In this role, Dan is responsible for providing independent and objective assessments of the integrity, adequacy, and effectiveness of the company’s operations. Dan reports directly to the Audit Committee of the board of directors and advises management as part of the executive leadership team.

Dan and his team analyze and evaluate business processes throughout the company. They ensure systematic, disciplined approaches to risk management, control, and governance processes are being employed in all activities. They also assess the reliability of financial and management reporting, and compliance with laws and regulations.

"I’m proud of the work we do, making a big difference in the lives of students. Like a lot of people, I was the first in my family to graduate college. I know what it did for me, both professionally and personally, especially meeting the many great students and professors who have become lifelong friends and colleagues. I want other people to have those same experiences, to develop the close relationships, to have the confidence to enter the workforce, and to achieve great things in life."

Dan has more than 30 years of accounting, finance, and audit experience, more than 20 of which have been in executive management roles. Prior to joining Sallie Mae in 2014, he served in a variety of audit, finance, and risk management positions at PNC, ultimately overseeing all banking audit activities in the U.S., Europe, and Canada. He began his career at the international accounting firm, KPMG, before accepting senior finance positions at SEI Investments and Integrated Technologies Management.

Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Delaware and an MBA in international business from Villanova University. In addition, he completed the Advanced Management Program at Columbia University as well as the Advanced Risk Management Executive Program at The Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. A Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant, Dan is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Delaware Society of CPAs, and Institute of Internal Auditors. He sits on the advisory board of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance and is a member and former Committee Chair at the Consumer Bankers Association in Washington, DC. Dan received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award for supporting employee participation and the Lammot duPont, Jr. Memorial Award for outstanding and devoted service to the community.

Follow Dan on LinkedIn.

Contact Sallie Mae senior management

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Contact the Office of the Customer Advocate