Governor-Elect O'Malley Nominates Secretaries For Planning, Natural Resources

BALTIMORE – Today, Governor-elect Martin O’Malley announced the nomination of Richard E. Hall as Secretary for the Maryland Department of Planning, and John R. Griffin as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

“Richard Hall and John Griffin are both experts in their fields, and they will be outstanding leaders of these mission critical agencies,” said Governor-elect Martin O’Malley. “As Maryland confronts the challenges of Smart Growth, military base realignment, preserving our open space, and improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay, Richard and John will be instrumental in helping our Administration develop solutions and achieve measurable results.”

A professional planner for 20 years, Richard Hall is a 15-year veteran of the Maryland Department of Planning, serving currently as Director of Land Use Planning and Analysis. As leader of the department’s largest division of planners, Hall has experience in all facets of Smart Growth development. Previously, Hall worked in the Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning, and as a planner in a number of towns in North Carolina.

A Maryland native from Salisbury, Hall resides in Baltimore City with his wife and children. Hall received his B.S. in planning from East Carolina University and his M.R.P in planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Hall is the President of the Maryland Chapter of the American Planning Association and an Affiliate Faculty member at the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education. Hall is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

“I am grateful to Governor-elect O’Malley for the opportunity to serve the great state of Maryland and to work with the many stakeholders to move Smart Growth forward to enhance our communities and to protect our rural resources,” said Hall. “This will become more challenging is the coming years with increased growth, including thousands of BRAC-related jobs, and more pressure to build in our rural areas. I will lead a strong planning department that will collaborate with communities.”

As Secretary of the Department of Planning, Hall will partner with local governments to implement a statewide vision for development in Maryland. Hall will work closely with the Director of Smart Growth to direct new growth and he will lead the state’s Historic Preservation program.

John Griffin is currently an Associate Vice-President for the Maryland/Virginia region at Buchart Horn, Inc., a private engineering, architectural, and planning firm providing a full range of consulting services including environmental. Griffin was General Manager of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission for five years, and has sixteen years of experience in the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, including five years as Secretary and eleven years as Deputy Secretary. Griffin is also Co-Chair of the O’Malley-Brown Transition Workgroup focusing on the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Department of Natural Resources.

Griffin received his B.A. from Niagara University and received his M.A. from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He currently serves his community as Vice-President for the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, as Chair of Scenic Maryland, and a Board member of the Annapolis Community Foundation. Griffin resides in Annapolis with his wife and family including five children.

“I am honored to have been asked by Governor-elect O’Malley to return to public service and to again lead an agency rich in tradition which touches the lives of our working families and helps preserve our quality of life. I know Governor-elect O’Malley is as excited as I am about achieving success over the next four years on three overarching goals: restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, Smarter Growth and addressing the interrelated issues of Global Warming, Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise.”

In his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, Griffin will be responsible for overseeing 450,000 acres of public lands, 17,000 miles of waterways, and all of Maryland’s forests, fisheries, wildlife and natural heritage assets. Griffin will lead an agency with an operating budget of $359.3 million and over 1,700 employees.

Source O’Malley Transition Team

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