James T. Brady, the chair of Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s 2014 campaign and former chair of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, died Friday after complications from a stroke.
He was 81.
Brady was an adviser to Maryland governors who served as co-chair on the gubernatorial transition teams for Governors Parris N. Glendening (D), Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), and Hogan.
“Throughout his incredible life, he was deeply committed to making Maryland a better place to live, get a good education and start a successful business,” Hogan said in a statement over the weekend. “Jim was a great leader in both the public and private sectors, a trusted advisor to governors of both parties, and a good friend.”
A native New Yorker, Brady spent more than three decades with the high-end accounting and financial services firm Arthur Andersen & Co., rising to the position of managing partner in the Baltimore office.
Brady was Maryland’s secretary of Business and Economic Development under Glendening from 1995 to 1998, and his appointment was vocally hailed by business leaders. But he grew frustrated with what he saw as the lack of commitment to the state’s business interests by the governor and the Democratic-led General Assembly and resigned in the spring of 1998. He wound up endorsing Glendening’s Republican opponent, Ellen R. Sauerbrey, that fall.
Later, Brady served on numerous government, nonprofit and business boards, including at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond from 2006 to 2012.
Brady was appointed by Hogan to the University System of Maryland Board of Regents in 2015 and served as chair from 2016 to 2018.
“While Jim was born and educated in New York, he was a Marylander through-and-through,” USM Chancellor Jay A. Perman and Board of Regents Chair Linda Gooden said in a joint statement. “And in everything he dedicated himself to — a successful career in the private sector, years of government service (supporting both Democratic and Republican administrations), volunteering with community organizations — Jim Brady always gave his very best to the people and the state of Maryland.
Brady resigned from the Board of Regents in November 2018, after the board’s controversial – and later overturned – decision to keep football coach D.J. Durkin in his post after the practice-related death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Frederick. The service will be streamed online.