Adam Ortiz, director of the Prince George’s Department of the Environment since 2012 and widely recognized as an environmental policy leader in Maryland, announced Friday that he is stepping down at the end of the year.
“It was an immensely difficult decision, but I will be pursuing another opportunity for the public good that will be disclosed after the holidays,” Ortiz said in a Facebook post.
The Department of the Environment was created under former County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D), and Ortiz – a former mayor of Edmondson in the county – has been its only director.
“Our key objective was to dismantle the fortress of government and open it up for the input and participation of the community,” Ortiz said on Facebook. “Environmental challenges are too great for anyone to address alone, we need each other on the same team. Our mantra became ‘engage, promote, empower’ to ensure that collaboration came easily and is fun. Since our founding, we have become the #1 environmental department in the state and region and owe much of our success to your passionate ideas, action and commitment.”
Praise for Ortiz’ tenure started rolling in on social media.
“Adam provided vision, leadership, and follow through for five years, helping to implement critical programs to improve air quality, reduce stormwater pollution, promote recycling and waste reduction, and much more,” Joshua Tulkin, Maryland director of the Sierra Club. “He is leaving big shoes to fill.”