Féde Lourdes Morales Marks; Fannie Mae, Banking Official

By Louie Estrada
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Féde Lourdes Morales Marks, 51, a former Fannie Mae executive and D.C. banking official who in 2001 was recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the top 50 women in business, died Feb. 23 at Reston Hospital Center.

The cause of death is pending the results of an autopsy, said her husband, Kenneth Hicks Marks Jr. He said she had recently returned from California and had complained of dizziness. She was hospitalized a day before her death.

Mrs. Marks, who lived in Reston, had been with Fannie Mae for about 10 years until she retired in December. Kenneth Marks said his wife planned to take time off before deciding her next career move.

At Fannie Mae, Mrs. Marks was vice president of public policy for housing and community development. She led the company's anti-predatory lending efforts, managed several information service groups and ran the homebuyer education initiative.

She also was an active member of Fannie Mae's Hispanic Employee Networking Group, past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia and a member of the board of directors of Ayuda Inc., a nonprofit legal clinic for low-income Latinos and immigrants.

"She was all about mentoring and helping, especially other young Hispanic lawyers," Kenneth Marks said. "Coming from humble beginnings, she was always looking for ways to give back to the community."

Mrs. Marks, who had lived in the Washington area since 1981, was a native of the South Bronx in New York. She was one of five children in a family raised by her mother, a costume jewelry designer from the Dominican Republic.

An ambitious student, Mrs. Marks received a scholarship to attend Barnard College, where she excelled academically and in three years graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in political science. In 1979, she received a law degree from Columbia University.

From 1982 to 1991, she was a lawyer with the D.C. firm of Krooth & Altman, specializing in corporate, finance and securities law, initially as an associate and later as a partner.

In 1991, then-D.C. Mayor Sharon Pratt appointed Mrs. Marks to the post of superintendent of the D.C. Office of Banking and Financial Institutions.

About two years later, Mrs. Marks left the D.C. government to join the Treasury Department as deputy assistant secretary for financial institutions policy, a post she held until 1996.

Over the years, she was active with numerous advocacy, community and professional organizations.

She served as commissioner of the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in Business; general counsel of Black Women United for Action Inc.; editor of Washington Lawyer, a publication of the D.C. Bar Association; member of the Planning and Zoning Committee of the Reston Community Association; member of the Virginia Council on the Status of Women; and member of the finance committee of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Reston.

Her professional honors included the American Bar Association's Jean Allard Glass Cutter Award for her contributions to the legal profession and business law.

In addition to her husband of 28 years, of Reston, survivors include a daughter, Kenisha Maria Morales Marks, also of Reston; two sisters; and a brother.

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