Hogan Names New Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation

Governor Larry Hogan today announced three key appointments, each effective on January 11, 2022:

  • Former Maryland Secretary of Commerce Mike Gill was named secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce, succeeding Secretary Kelly Schulz.
  • Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Executive Director James F. Ports, Jr., was named secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), succeeding Secretary Greg Slater.
  • William Pines, MDTA’s chief engineer, will succeed Ports as MDTA’s executive director.

According to a press release:

Governor Hogan issued the following statement:

“We’re excited to add new members of our Cabinet with a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to public service. Mike Gill helped lead our economic turnaround for the first four years of our administration, and it is great to have him back to finish the job. Jim Ports has served in major transportation roles at the federal, state, and local levels, and he is the right person to continue building on all of our record investments in both roads and transit.

“I also want to congratulate Will Pines, a talented engineer who has spearheaded some of our biggest projects, and is very deserving of the opportunity to lead MDTA.

“Greg Slater and Kelly Schulz have made countless contributions to change Maryland for the better. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their service, and we wish them well in their future pursuits.”

Maryland Department of Commerce

Gill is chairman of Columbia-based Evergreen Advisors, which was his role prior to serving as Maryland’s secretary of commerce from 2015 to 2019. He has four decades of experience in business, which includes founding Hoyt Capital, an investment and advisory firm serving startups and growth companies. He served as a member of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents from 2004 to 2009.

“After all the work we did in the first term to turn things around, it has been rewarding to observe the continued progress Maryland has made becoming one of the nation’s most business-friendly states,” said Gill. “When the governor asked me to come back, I jumped at the opportunity to once again lead the talented men and women at Commerce. I want to thank Kelly for the outstanding job she’s done, and we all wish her and her family well.”

“I am incredibly thankful to have had the opportunity to serve the Hogan administration over these last seven years—working daily to improve the lives of Marylanders has been an honor of a lifetime,” said Secretary Schulz. “While working with Governor Hogan, as the secretary of labor and secretary of commerce, we’ve accomplished a lot, from leading nationally recognized job training and apprenticeship programs to becoming the most improved state for business in the entire nation. I thank Governor Hogan for entrusting me with such great responsibilities and for allowing me to have the privilege to work with so many wonderful people throughout state government.”

Maryland Department of Transportation

As MDTA’s executive director, Ports oversees all of the state’s toll facilities and the E-ZPass Maryland system. Prior to his appointment as executive director, Ports served as MDOT’s deputy secretary under two administrations. In addition, he previously served as deputy administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and chief executive officer for Harford County’s transit system.

Pines has served as MDTA’s chief engineer since 2019. He has contributed to significant regional endeavors such as the District Department of Transportation’s selection committee for the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge Replacement and an ongoing National Cooperative Highway Research Program panel for the evaluation of suspension bridges.

“I am incredibly honored to have the trust of Governor Hogan and the opportunity to lead the dedicated professionals at the Maryland Department of Transportation,” said Executive Director Ports. “We will continue to deliver on all of the services that are part of Marylanders’ daily lives, and the incredible infrastructure progress that we’re making everywhere across the state. I want to personally thank Greg Slater for his friendship and his leadership.”

“Serving as the Maryland Secretary of Transportation has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life and career,” said Secretary Slater. “I cannot thank Governor Hogan, the men and women of MDOT, and the people we serve enough for the faith that they had in me in this important role at such a critical time. Through challenges and progress, we continued to serve day and night, seven days a week.”

Secretary Slater has accepted an opportunity in the transportation industry out of state.

Read the full press release for more information.