By Catherine Pugh,
Special to the AFRO
Gov.-Elect Wes Moore has reached out to some incredibly talented individuals to become members of his front-line team. A couple of his top picks for leadership positions have strong ties to Baltimore City and have been a part of his inner circle for quite some time.
Rhodes Scholar Fagan Harris, co-founder of Baltimore Corp and Moore mentee, has been chosen as his chief of staff. Harris lives in Baltimore and is married to his high school sweetheart and award winning filmmaker, Meryam Bouadjemi.
Harris may be new to Maryland politics, but he is no stranger to public service and social entrepreneurship, having served as president and chief executive officer of Baltimore Corp. He has been responsible for hiring, recruiting and engaging thousands of gifted young people into public service roles and has created a platform that can be emulated nationally in the search for young and talented individuals.
Under President Obama’s Administration, Harris worked on the White House Council for Community Solutions. He has received recognition, including a profile in Forbes Magazine as one of the 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs. Humbled by the experience of working in state government, Harris says he intends to get people inspired and involved.
“Let’s get people really invigorated around the work of government,” he said.
Governor-Elect Moore chose his campaign chief of staff, Tisha S. Edwards, as his secretary of appointments. Edwards is an attorney, who holds a master’s degree in social work. She served as Moore’s choice to lead his non-profit Bridge EU when he left Baltimore to run one of the country’s largest non-profit organizations, the Robin Hood Foundation.
Edwards has served in both the public and private sector. She has held several leadership roles in city government, as she was head of the Office of Children and Families for three Baltimore City Mayors: Scott, Young and Pugh. A passionate leader, Edwards also served as chief of staff to former Baltimore City Public School CEO Andres Alonso.
Edwards also held the position of executive vice president of corporate affairs, for JSP Ventures. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role in state government.
The incoming Maryland State Appointment Secretary says, “I will work to make sure the heads of agencies, departments, boards and commissions appointed by Gov. Moore represent the diversity of the state’s citizens, interests and needs.”
Edwards added that she is looking to “embrace equity as the driving force for fair and effective state government.”
Moore’s nominee for budget secretary also has ties to Baltimore City. Helene Grady currently serves as a vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer at Johns Hopkins University, a position she has held since 2020. For nearly eight years she served as vice president for planning and budget for the university. Grady oversees over one billion dollars in assets. She is married to the head of the Goldseker Foundation, President and CEO, Matt Gallagher, former chief of staff for Governor Martin O’Malley.
Other recent appointees to Governor-Elect Moore’s team include Chief Legislative Officer Eric Luedtke, the Maryland House of Delegates Majority Leader, currently serving District 14, in Montgomery County. He is also a public school teacher in Montgomery County and has served in the legislature since January 2011. Luedtke brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his position.
Appointed Chief of Counsel for Governor Elect West Moore, Amanda Moore is no stranger to Maryland or National politics. An attorney, who lives in Chevy Chase, Md., Amanda Moore has worked as an attorney for over twenty years for the Democratic National Committee. She also worked in the Maryland State Government under State Secretary John Willis during the Glendening Administration. A leader in the creation of Emerge Maryland, the organization encourages women to run for office, Amanda Moore serves as vice chair.
Gov.- Elect Wes Moore will be inaugurated as the first Black governor of Maryland on Jan. 18 at noon in Annapolis at the State House.
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