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Government & Politics

While some of his nominees struggle, Moore forwards another 128 names to Senate

Gov. Wes Moore (D) updates reporters on the status of his legislative agenda earlier this week. Photo by Bryan P. Sears.

Two months after taking office, Gov. Wes Moore (D) continues to work to fill positions on key boards and commissions.

Moore on Friday sent an additional 128 nominees to the state Senate for consideration — and also announced that he was withdrawing the names of 13 previously announced appointees.

Moore has now sent hundreds of names for top administration positions and commissions along to the Senate, which is trying to work through his nominees at a rapid pace, with the General Assembly session set to end on April 10.

The governor on Friday nominated individuals for such key positions as State Board of Education, University of Maryland System Board of Regents, the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors, and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) Board of Directors, among many others. He also picked 16 new commissioners for the 22-member Maryland Economic Development Commission.

“I am confident they will provide the strength of experience and leadership to instill confidence among our citizens and ensure we succeed in our goals for Marylanders,” Moore said in a message to Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) as he forwarded the names of his latest appointments.

For the State Board of Education, which was completely remade under former Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Moore has nominated Joshua Michael, a former teacher and executive director of the Sherman Family Foundation, which provides grants to non-profit organizations that promote education and opportunities for young people in Baltimore, and Irma Johnson, a former schools administrator in Baltimore.

For the designated parent position on the school board, Moore has tapped Nicholas Greer of Baltimore, executive vice president of interconnection at Thread Inc., a nonprofit that works to close the achievement gap in education. If confirmed, he’d replace Lori Morrow, the first parent representative on the state school board.

For the Board of Regents, Moore essentially reappointed three members — though one of the three hasn’t served in eight years — and named one new member. Robert Wallace, a Baltimore businessman who ran an independent campaign for mayor of the city in 2020, and William Wood, a Montgomery County attorney, were each reappointed to new five-year terms. Tom McMillen, a former congressman and ex-NBA star who played for the University of Maryland, was also nominated to the board. He served on the Regents from 2007 to 2015 but was replaced by Hogan. The fourth nominee is Anwer Hasan, a Howard County business consultant who is a former chair of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Moore nominated three individuals to serve on the Higher Education Commission: Chike Aguh, a Prince George’s County resident and chief innovation officer at the U.S. Department of Labor; Sheila Thompson, a Prince George’s educator; and Rebecca Taber, co-founder and co-CEO of Merit America, a group that works to train unskilled workers for high-paying jobs.

For the University of Maryland Medical System Board of Directors, Moore has nominated Faith Davis, who heads the climate change venture capital fund at energy giant Exelon, and Bel Leong-Hong, who runs a tech company, Knowledge Advantage, and is a major player and donor in state and national Democratic Asian-American Pacific Islander politics.

Moore’s three nominees for the MEDCO board are Charles County Commissioner Thomasina Coates (D); Rosie Allen-Herring, president and CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area; and Omar Karim, president of Banneker Ventures, a real estate development firm.

Moore is also seeking to remake the state’s Economic Development Commission, with 16 nominees for the 22-member board. Moore’s picks include Christy Wyskiel, director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures; Nia Banks, a prominent Baltimore plastic surgeon; Seth Goldman, the co-founder of Honest Tea and other food companies; and August Chiasera, a regional president of M&T Bank.

Other noteworthy appointments: Baltimore City Councilmember Mark Conway (D) has been nominated to serve on the Critical Area Commission for the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays; Ash Shetty, Montgomery County’s procurement director, to the state’s Procurement Improvement Council; and Shelonda Stokes, president of the Downtown Baltimore Partnership, to the Morgan State University Board of Regents (a reappointment).

And the administration on Friday withdrew, without explanation, 13 previously announced nominees to a range of boards and commissions, from the Board of Trustees for the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund to the Frederick County Board of Elections to the Uninsured Employers Fund Board.

The Senate Executive Nominations is scheduled to hold confirmation hearings Monday evening for 26 of Moore’s nominees, including retired Lt. Col. Roland Butler Jr., the governor’s controversial pick to head the State Police. The committee is also scheduled to consider 200 additional nominees who will not be appearing for a confirmation hearing.

Another controversial Moore nominee, businesswoman Yolanda Maria Martinez to join the Maryland Stadium Authority board, awaits a vote in the Senate panel, but it isn’t clear if she’ll get one before the end of session.

Bryan P. Sears and William F. Zorzi contributed to this report.


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While some of his nominees struggle, Moore forwards another 128 names to Senate