MoCo Development Agency Taps Deputy Commerce Secretary as New CEO

    Benjamin H. Wu will take over the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation.

    Benjamin H. Wu, who has spent the past five years as Maryland’s deputy Commerce secretary and has a wealth of government experience, will become president and CEO of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, MCEDC’s board announced Wednesday. Wu will take the helm of Montgomery County’s public-private economic development organization on Dec. 18.

    A seasoned government executive and technology policy expert, Wu is a Montgomery County native who has served on the MCEDC board since its inception and has worked on issues related job growth and business development in Montgomery County over the past three decades in federal and state government.

    In addition to his five years as a top economic development official with the Hogan administration, Wu is a former U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy under President George W. Bush. Wu served as the co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council Committee on Technology, which led interagency coordination on national priorities with federal laboratories, including the National Institutes of Health.

    Prior to joining the executive branch, Wu served as counsel for 13 years to then-U.S. Rep. Constance A. Morella (R-Md.) and the Technology Subcommittee of the House Science Committee overseeing U.S. international competitiveness.

    “We are pleased to welcome Ben with his extensive Maryland economic development experience,” said Robert G. Brewer Jr., a principal with Lerch Early Brewer and the chairman of the MCEDC Board of Directors. “He will strengthen ties with our partners in the state and, through his consensus building leadership style, work collaboratively with all our local and regional stakeholders to diversify Montgomery County’s economy and grow our jobs and tax base.”

    An array of state and local officials issued statements welcoming the news of Wu’s appointment.

    “Over the past five years, Ben has been a key member of my economic development leadership team from the very start of my administration’s transition to today,” said Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R).

    Montgomery County Executive Marc B. Elrich (D) said Wu “brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to change the business climate in the County and help us attract and retain businesses. Ben has a reputation as an innovative leader. I am confident that he will be a tremendous asset to us.”

    Gigi Godwin, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, said, “I couldn’t be more pleased with his selection.”

    For his part, Wu said he saw his new position as an opportunity to give back to the community.

    “Not too many people get the chance to meaningfully change and shape the future of where they live and grew up,” he said.

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    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.