Mary Ann Lawler is the state conservation chair of the Virginia Native Plant Society, and has been active statewide and locally, advocating for Virginia's natural heritage programs and northern Virginia’s natural areas. She writes a bimonthly newsletter for the Potowmack chapter of VNPS. She is currently serving her second term on Arlington County’s Urban Forestry Commission. She also served on the Board of the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council.
Mary Ann retired after 34 years with the U.S. Department of the Interior, engaged in policy and budget work for all areas of the Department and its bureaus including the land management agencies (parks, refuges, and public lands), water and minerals management and regulation, science, and Indian affairs. She spent her last 16 years in the Office of Budget for the Department where she was Director for five years, overseeing the budget development and appropriations process for the entire department. She received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive from President Bill Clinton. She served as the co-chair of the Budget Officers Advisory Council with the Office of Management and Budget.