December 14, 2022 / press release
RELEASE: Governor-Elect Wes Moore announces additional members of leadership team
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 14, 2022
Governor-Elect Wes Moore announces additional members of leadership team
‘I’m proud to appoint these incredibly dedicated public servants,’ says Governor-Elect Wes Moore
Governor-Elect Moore announces Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor, Board of Public Works Executive, and the Director of the Federal Office
BALTIMORE (Dec. 14, 2022) – Today, Governor-Elect Moore announced the latest appointments of key leaders who will join the Moore-Miller administration. Pokuaa “PK” Owusu-Acheaw will serve as the Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor, Manny Welsh as Board of Public Works Executive, and Matthew Verghese as the Director of the Federal Office.
“I’m proud to appoint these incredibly dedicated public servants,” said Governor-Elect Wes Moore. “This group of leaders will serve Maryland with distinction and I’m elated to have them join our team to create a Maryland where no one is left behind.”
Pokuaa “PK” Owusu-Acheaw
Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor
Pokuaa “PK” Owusu-Acheaw most recently served as the Managing Director of Legislative and Political Affairs at the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA). During her time at MSEA she led legislative and regulatory work advocating for students and educators during the COVID-19 Pandemic. She also served as the union’s Political Director prior to the 2022 General Election; leading endorsement work and efforts to support the union’s endorsed slate of federal, statewide, and down-ballot candidates.
Prior to joining MSEA, Pokuaa worked as a Regional Director for U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) where she worked on local issues and policy initiatives while cultivating relationships with community organizations and constituency groups, across the state. She also served as Intergovernmental Affairs Officer for Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks. Pokuaa served as a liaison between federal, state, county, and municipal leaders on the County Executive’s behalf. She also has experience in the Maryland General Assembly as a former Legislative Director to Sen. Joanne C. Benson (D-24).
Pokuaa is a first-generation Ghanaian-American and a proud public school graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Prince George’s County. She has a B.A in Political Science and Communications from the University of Pittsburgh, and a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She currently serves on the Boards of Planned Parenthood Advocates and Economic Action MD (formerly Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition).
“PK is a dedicated public servant who understands not only policy and its greater implications, but the people it affects,” said Sen. Joanne C. Benson.
“Pokuaa has a talent for navigating the bureaucracies of government on the local, state, and federal levels to get people the critical resources they need. She is an avid team player who knows how to lead,” said County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.
Board of Public Works Executive
Emmanuel M. Welsh is chief of staff to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. Manny joined the Comptroller’s Office in 2015 as public affairs officer. He served as the agency’s deputy chief of staff from 2016 until 2020 when, at the age of 29, Comptroller Franchot appointed Manny to serve as chief of staff.
As the Comptroller’s chief of staff, Manny oversees the management and executive direction of the state’s financial agency. In addition, he leads the agency’s policy and public outreach operations and serves as Comptroller Franchot’s principal liaison with leaders in government, labor and advocacy organizations, and the nonprofit and private sectors. Since 2016, Manny has advised Comptroller Franchot on all matters before the Board of Public Works.
Born in the Philippines, Manny has lived in Maryland since 2003. A graduate of Calvert Hall College High School, Manny earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Towson University and his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Baltimore. He sits on the Schaefer Center for Public Policy Advisory Board at the University of Baltimore. In 2021, The Daily Record named Manny a “40 Under 40 Very Important Professional.” He resides in Annapolis.
“Manny is one of the brightest young minds in Maryland government whose work ethic and character are beyond measure,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “His tenure as my chief of staff included the smooth implementation of the RELIEF Act of 2021, the flawless execution of the 30-day gas tax holiday and leading a 1,100-person agency through a global pandemic. I’m ecstatic that Governor-elect Moore has added Manny to his team and I am confident he will continue serving the people of Maryland with honor and distinction.”
“Manny Welsh has become one of the most knowledgeable, trusted, and affable operators of Annapolis’ systems and processes,” said Salisbury Mayor Jake Day, immediate past president of the Maryland Municipal League. “When mayors, business owners, or advocates from Deep Creek to Church Creek have needed policy changes or agency action, Manny has been an accessible and potent facilitator for many Marylanders. The Moore-Miller Administration has enlisted another talented agent to implement the vision of leaving no Marylander behind.”
Director of the Federal Office
Matthew Verghese currently serves as Chief of Staff to Congressman Anthony G. Brown, where he has consistently worked to deliver for the people of Maryland. He successfully led efforts to include a first-of its-kind program to reconnect communities – particularly communities of colors – divided by barriers and poor infrastructure policy in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law; to pass bipartisan gun safety legislation to increase the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles in the U.S. House of Representatives; and, to override President Trump’s veto of a bill that redesignated all military property named for Confederate leaders. He has developed productive relationships with key members of the Biden Administration and Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill and been at the forefront of securing hundreds of millions of dollars of federal grants and investments for communities across Maryland. In Congress, Matt also served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director.
A longtime advocate for the state of Maryland, Verghese previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff to then Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. Active politically for over a decade, Matt was a senior advisor on the victorious Wes Moore for Maryland and Van Hollen for Senate campaigns, and served as Political and Communications Director for the Maryland Democratic Party. Matt is a first-generation American, lifelong Marylander and a proud University of Maryland alumnus.
“Matt is a veteran of Maryland and national politics who not only understands how government works but also how it can be better for those we serve. As a longtime, trusted advisor I’ve seen his passion for public service and commitment to delivering real results for Marylanders,” said Congressman and Attorney General-elect Anthony G. Brown. “I have no doubt that as he steps into this new role in the Moore-Miller Administration that he will succeed and in doing so push forward progress for our state and country.”
“Matt is the perfect choice to be the Director of Federal Relations for Governor-Elect Moore. He brings a wealth of experience at both the federal and state levels, earning the respect of colleagues across the state as a thoughtful leader who knows Maryland through and through. Matt was a talented and valuable member of my team, and I know he will be a great partner for the Maryland congressional delegation as we work with Governor Moore to build a stronger Maryland for all. Years ago, I worked in the same office for former Governor William Donald Schaefer, and I know that Matt is the right person to lead that team at this critical time,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.
Wes Moore is the Governor-Elect of the State of Maryland. He is a U.S. Army combat veteran who led soldiers in combat with the 82nd Airborne Division, a Rhodes Scholar, former small business owner, and former CEO of one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty organizations. Learn more at www.wesmoore.com.