County Executive Steuart Pittman named Karen Henry as the acting director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works. Henry takes the reigns from Chris Phipps, who announced his retirement.
“Karen is a seasoned county employee and talented leader who understands the needs and inner workings of the department,” said County Executive Pittman. “I look forward to Karen’s leadership as she transitions into this new role.”
Ms. Henry started her career with Anne Arundel County in 1989 as a Community Services Specialist. In 1993 she transitioned to the Department of Aging and Disabilities, where she held various positions. Ms. Henry eventually became the Program Manager for the Community Care Partnership, a program she developed to assist seniors with nursing home placement with the help of federal, state, and local funding.
“Karen Henry has proven to be an extremely effective manager and will keep public works in Anne Arundel County moving forward to best serve each citizen,” said Chris Phipps. “Knowing firsthand about Karen’s work ethic, her knowledge of all the bureaus, and her dedication to this county makes me more than confident that the department is being left in good hands.”
In 2000, Ms. Henry became the DPW EXCEL (Excellence in Cost Effective Leadership) Program Manager. In this role, she implemented key programs and strategies that improved the Bureau of Utility Operations processes, including employee skills training and certification programs. Ms. Henry was promoted to Water Operations Utility Administrator at the Bureau of Utility Operations in 2012.
She managed the County’s water treatment and distribution system until being named the assistant director of DPW in 2016. As the assistant director, she oversaw all five DPW bureaus and managed the department-wide budgeting, finance, purchasing, legislative, personnel, customer relations, and asset management needs.
“I am honored that County Executive Pittman asked me to serve in this role and excited to lead such a talented and dedicated group of employees,” said Ms. Henry. “Our team of public servants is second to none and work each day to provide vital services to all citizens.”