Sarah Merchak   Senior Vice President 

Website SDM (1).jpg

Sarah Dumont Merchak is a principal at the Smith-Free Group, focused primarily on banking and housing policy. Previously, she was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). In that role, she managed a team of legislative and congressional experts, advised the Director on all legislative issues, and designed FHFA’s proactive Congressional strategy.


Prior to joining FHFA, Ms. Merchak served as a leading public policy advocate for both USAA and Visa. In both roles, she created and executed successful strategies to bolster the global government relations agenda, while also managing relationships with strategic third-party allies. While at Visa, Merchak established and oversaw the government relations activities for Visa Canada.

Merchak has Capitol Hill experience in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. She served as a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Banking Committee and, while in the House of Representatives, as a senior legislative staffer for several Members of the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC). She began her Capitol Hill career as a staffer on the HFSC Capital Markets Subcommittee.

Ms. Merchak is a graduate of Belmont Abbey College. She and her husband live in Virginia with their children, dog and any variety of foster pets.