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Baltimore Co. Names First Immigrant Affairs Coordinator, New Director of Govt. Affairs

Baltimore County has its first immigrant affairs outreach coordinator and a new acting director of government affairs, County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. (D) announced Monday.

And the county’s former director of government affairs is moving on to a new position at international law firm Venable LLP.

Giuliana Valencia-Banks will fill the newly created position of immigrant affairs outreach coordinator.

She will partner with community groups to promote the wellbeing of immigrant communities across the county and work to ensure the county executive’s office operates with a multicultural lens, among other tasks.

“We’re making Baltimore County’s government more accessible and responsive than ever before — and that includes doing more to support our rapidly diversifying County,” Olszewski said in a statement. “We’re excited to have Giuliana join our Community Engagement team, expanding our ability to address the concerns of our residents and to help them access County services.”

Valencia-Banks was most recently outreach and operations manager at the Esperanza Center of Catholic Charities of Baltimore.

As acting director of government affairs, Joel Beller will supervise the office that sets the administration’s legislative strategy and coordinates with members of the Baltimore County Council and Maryland General Assembly. Beller was deputy director of government affairs and previously served as chief of staff to former county councilmember Vicki Almond (D).

Charles R. Conner III. Baltimore County photo.

He takes over for Charles R. Conner III, who had been Olszewski’s director of government affairs since 2018.

Conner joined Venable’s state and local government practice in the Towson office and will represent clients in issues before state, county and municipal governments and agencies across the state.

Conner previously served as deputy state director for U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) and as chief of staff for Del. Luke H. Clippinger (D-Baltimore City), among other jobs.

Robert A. Hoffman, partner-in-charge of Venable’s Towson office, said that experience will benefit the law firm.

“Chuck has amassed significant experience in the public sector. His in-depth familiarity with the legislative process and the relationships he’s forged with many of the state’s and county’s key figures will be of immense value to our clients,” Hoffman said in a statement. “We are thrilled to welcome him to the firm.”

Conner will be a key member of the firm’s Annapolis lobbying team.

During his time with Baltimore County, Conner formulated and pursued the Olszewski administration’s annual legislative agenda and represented the county executive on legislative matters at the local, state, and federal levels.

“Chuck has been an invaluable advisor and a vital part of all we’ve been able to accomplish in Baltimore County. I will forever be grateful for his professionalism, integrity, and dedication to delivering results for the people of Baltimore County,” Olszewski added in a statement.

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Baltimore Co. Names First Immigrant Affairs Coordinator, New Director of Govt. Affairs