Key Md. Groups See Changes at the Top

By Josh Kurtz

Some high-profile organizations in the Maryland political and public policy sphere are going through some leadership changes.

At Common Cause/Maryland, the good government group, Executive Director Jennifer Bevan-Dangel is leaving to become executive director of Advocates for Children and Youth.

Bevan-Dangel has been at Common Cause for just shy of five years, and prior to that she was deputy director of 1000 Friends of Maryland – the conservation and smart growth group which has just undergone a leadership change of its own. At the Baltimore-based Advocates for Children and Youth, she’ll be replacing Becky Wagner, who is retiring after a long career in advocacy, including stints as executive director at Interfaith Works in Rockville, and some time as a staffer for former Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.).

Becky Wagner

At Common Cause, the organization’s legal and policy director, Damon Effingham, will serve as acting executive director. A hiring process for a new director will begin in January.

Meanwhile, the Maryland State and D.C. AFL-CIO has elected its first woman president, Donna Edwards (no relation to Donna Edwards, the former congresswoman and candidate for Prince George’s County executive). Edwards is moving into the top job after spending 16 years as the labor federation’s secretary-treasurer.

Edwards replaces Fred Mason Jr., who retired this spring after 16 years atop the state AFL – not to mention more than 40 years of labor and social justice activism.

“We work for the right of all people to be free from employment discrimination, to be treated fairly, to earn family sustaining wages with secured retirement and affordable health care, to be safe at work and be free to join a union,” said Edwards, who was the first woman president of AFSCME Council 92 and has been president of AFSCME 112, with 4,100 members working for Maryland Department of Human Services, since 1984.

Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.


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