If Mayor-elect Catherine Pugh’s transition team foreshadows her direction for leading Baltimore, prepare to look for trusted friends, regional and state-wide partners and established policy-makers to guide the next four years of the city’s post-unrest recovery.

Baltimore Mayor-elect Catherine Pugh’s transition team features leaders from Baltimore’s community. (Courtesy photo)

Baltimore Mayor-elect Catherine Pugh’s transition team features leaders from Baltimore’s community. (Courtesy photo)

Pugh has borrowed from her experience with the Maryland General Assembly, turning to well-established local, regional and statewide institutional and corporate partners like Diane Bell-McKoy, president and CEO of Associated Black Charities of Maryland and Calvin Butler, CEO of Baltimore Gas and Electric to guide her initial steps as Mayor of Baltimore.

“Mayor Elect Pugh has a very specific goal for her Transition Team – she wants us to develop ‘an actionable plan’ to move the City forward,” Bell-McKoy told the AFRO.

“Everyone on the team is eager and excited about contributing their collective insights and expertise and with this vast array of diverse and engaged citizens, developing an actionable plan that is absolutely going to happen,” she said.

Rounding out Pugh’s Transition Leadership Committee are Stephen Burch, Chair of the University of Maryland Medical Systems Board of Directors; Rachel Monroe, president & CE0, The Weinberg Foundation; Chuck Tildon, vice president, United Way of Maryland and the relative newcomer of the team Keenen Geter, founder and director, Young Men with Power.

Geter said his role is to serve as an ambassador for the Mayor’s interest in supporting youth and millennials.

“I know that Mayor Elect Pugh wants to hear from all of Baltimore and she considers me to be representative of the young Black male constituency, the millennial population and the next generation of leaders off our city,” Geter told the AFRO.

“The mayor elect has high expectations for our youth. She wants every young person to reach their potential. She’s very passionate about helping to make sure every young person has a path to college or career,” Geter added.

Pugh’s leadership team is complemented by five core committees and three additional committees that will review existing city agencies.  Chairs have been selected for the committees and the agency review teams, with committee members set to be announced within the coming week according to Anthony McCarthy, Pugh’s spokesman.

The five committees that will support the Transition Leadership Committee are:

Education and Youth Development

Stacey Ulrich – Chair (Director of Global Philanthropy, Under Armour) and Scot Spencer – Vice Chair (Associate Director or Advocacy and Influence – Annie E. Casey Foundation)

Healthy Neighborhoods

Ellen Janes – Chair (Executive Director, Central Baltimore Partnership) and Maria Tildon – Vice Chair (Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Community Affairs for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield)

Economic and Employment Development

Bill McCarthy – Chair (Executive Director, Catholic Charities of Maryland)


Don Halligan – Chair (Senior Transportation Planner, Baltimore Metropolitan Council) and

Michelle Whelley – Vice Chair (Principal, M.L. Whelley Consulting)

Public Safety/Policing

Ken Thompson – Chair (Civil and commercial litigation attorney, Venable – served on Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Transition team in 2010) and Tyrone Powers – Vice Chair (Director of the Homeland Security & Criminal Justice Institute, Anne Arundel Community College and former Maryland State Trooper)

Pugh’s agency review team includes:


Alex Coleman (Owner, ACC Development, Inc.)


Phil Lee, (Founder of Baltimore Harbor Watershed Association)

Baltimore Development Corporation

JP Grant (Founder, President & CEO, Grant Capital Management)

Pugh has pledged to make city government more effective to build safe neighborhoods throughout the city. “I am really focused on building communities and making people feel safe in their neighborhoods and great about their city, Pugh said.

Mayor Elect Pugh and eight new members of the Baltimore City Council will take office on Dec. 6.