January 17, 2023 / press release

RELEASE: Governor-Elect Wes Moore Announces New Cabinet Appointments


Contact: Carter Elliott, 434-942-4755, Carter@wesmoore.com

Jan. 17, 2023

Governor-Elect Wes Moore Announces New Cabinet Appointments 

Governor-Elect Moore continues to fulfill his promise to have the most diverse cabinet in the history of Maryland

BALTIMORE (Jan. 17, 2023) — Today, Governor-Elect Wes Moore announced the appointment of Mayor Jake Day as the Secretary of Housing & Community Development, Kevin Atticks as the Secretary of Agriculture, Serena McIlwain as Secretary of Environment, Carol Beatty as Secretary of Disabilities, Josh Kurtz as Secretary of Natural Resources, Rebecca Flora as Secretary of Planning, Carmel Roques as Secretary of Aging, Kevin Anderson as Secretary of Commerce, Mayor Emily Keller as Special Secretary of Opioid Response  — continuing to build an Administration that brings deep experience and looks like the state it serves. The Moore-Miller Administration will feature the most diverse cabinet in the history of Maryland. 

“With each announcement, we continue to build a Cabinet that reflects the state we are humbled to serve,” said Governor-Elect Wes Moore. “These leaders bring with them great knowledge and deep expertise. This is going to be Maryland’s decade, and our team will lead with service in their hearts.” 

Mayor Jake Day, Secretary of Housing & Community Development

Jake Day is the 28th Mayor of Salisbury, Maryland. Born and raised in Salisbury, he was first elected to City Council at the age of 30 and unanimously elected President. His tenure as Mayor is marked by a resurgent Downtown, including nearly $650 million in new construction, the establishment of two youth community centers, and the creation of a permanent supportive housing program—Housing First—to address chronic homelessness. Before becoming Mayor, Jake’s work focused on revitalizing downtowns and small towns, making them more vibrant, livable places. He worked for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, most recently as Director of the Center for Towns, utilizing design, planning, and implementation assistance to establish vibrant, sustainable small cities and towns. He served as national President of the American Institute of Architecture Students and Editor-in-Chief of CRIT, a journal of architecture.

Jake is a Major in the U.S. Army, currently assigned to the Army National Guard as an Information Operations and Special Technical Operations Officer with the 110th Information Operations Battalion. Jake is a veteran of the Global War on Terrorism and recently returned from a combat deployment to Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti where he served as the Special Technical Operations Chief for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. Mayor Day served as the 79th elected President of the Maryland Municipal League, representing Maryland’s 157 municipalities. During his tenure, the League’s signature legislative priority passed: the restoration of transportation funding to pave streets and roads in cities across Maryland. He also serves as one of Maryland’s representatives to the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Local Government Advisory Committee. Jake earned a Master of Science in Nature, Society & Environmental Policy from Oxford University where he graduated with distinction for his dissertation. He also earned a Master of Urban Design from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland. Jake is the proud father to two beautiful daughters, Lilly and Olivia.

Kevin Atticks, Secretary of Agriculture

In 2015 Kevin Atticks founded Grow & Fortify to support value-added agricultural organizations and the businesses they represent. Mr. Atticks launched his career publishing books about the local wine industry, but soon led the industry by hiring talented staff, building new events promotional programs, and guiding government affairs initiatives. He serves on the University of Maryland College of Agriculture’s Global Leadership Council, the board of Future Harvest, the board of the Maryland Tourism Coalition where he previously served as chair. He is the past president of the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council, and past chair of the WineAmerica State & Regional Associations Advisory Council. In addition to serving as executive director of the Maryland Wineries Association for 20 years, Mr. Atticks also serves as the Executive Director of the Brewers Association of Maryland and the Maryland Distillers Guild. During his tenure, he has advanced major policy initiatives, clearing age-old laws and regulations, bringing business growth, new jobs and new tax revenue to the state. Mr. Atticks holds a bachelor’s in journalism from Loyola University Maryland, a master’s in environmental journalism from CU-Boulder, and a doctorate in communications design from the University of Baltimore. He holds a faculty position in communication at Loyola University Maryland.

Serena McIlwain, Secretary of Environment

Serena McIlwain was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in March 2019 to serve as Undersecretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. As Undersecretary, McIlwain oversaw the day-to-day operations of the agency and served as the principal advisor to the Secretary. She had oversight responsibility of the Office of the Secretary budget, totaling $22 million. McIlwain also provided leadership and support to all of the boards, departments and offices under CalEPA and CalEPA’s total budget of $4.6 billion. Prior to joining CalEPA, McIlwain was director of the Office of Continuous Improvement at the U.S Environmental Protection Agency where she deployed an agency-wide Lean Management System to improve agency performance, increase productivity, eliminate waste, solve problems, and continuously improve. From 2014-2017, she was assistant regional administrator at the U.S. EPA’s Region 9 in San Francisco. She served as the senior resource officer, chief information officer and senior grants official, supporting the region’s 800 federal staff. While at the U.S. Department of Energy, from 2011-2014, she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, serving as principal advisor to the assistant secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy. She directed business operations, and created a lean culture among the 3,100 federal employees. McIlwain was director of the office of business partner at the U.S. Department of Energy from 2009 -2011 and director for workforce planning and management at the Architect of the Capitol from 2003 – 2009. She earned a Master of Public Administration from George Mason University and a Master of Science in administration from Central Michigan University.

Carol Beatty, Secretary of Disabilities

Secretary Carol Beatty was appointed to her position of Secretary of Disabilities for the State of Maryland by Governor Hogan in 2015. She brings over 35 years of experience as an executive in disability advocacy. As Secretary of Disabilities, she helped expand opportunities for Marylanders with disabilities to work and live in communities of their choice. She previously served as the Executive Director of The Arc of Howard County, a private, non-profit organization that provides advocacy and support services for more than 750 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. In this role, she managed a $13 million budget and 300 employees and was responsible for advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals and their families on a county, state, and national level. Previously, she served in an executive-level capacity at Alternate Living, Inc. and Bello Machre, Inc., both dedicated to providing quality services to individuals with disabilities. Beatty earned her BA from Towson University and her MS in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University.  She has a physical disability as a result of having polio as an infant. She currently lives in Jessup, Maryland with her husband Ed. Her son Sam and his wife Anna live in Atlanta GA.

Josh Kurtz, Secretary of Natural Resources

Josh Kurtz has dedicated his career to protecting and restoring Maryland’s natural resources. Kurtz joins the Moore-Miller Administration from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) where he served as the Maryland Executive Director. Kurtz led CBF teams in Annapolis, Upper Marlboro, and Easton that worked to improve water quality. At CBF he led advocacy campaigns aimed at helping Maryland reach its 2025 Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint pollution reduction goals. These included efforts to plant more trees, conserve forested land, help farmers make environmental improvements, green cities, and ensure the state maintains sustainable fisheries. Kurtz also oversaw the Maryland office’s regenerative farm and restoration program that added millions of oysters to the Bay, planted trees, and restored buffers. Prior to the CBF, Mr. Kurtz served as the Policy and Government Relations Director for The Nature Conservancy in Maryland and D.C. He led advocacy campaigns at the Maryland General Assembly and D.C. City Council to protect habitat and deliver clean water and air. Kurtz also launched the climate mitigation program and pioneered private finance projects in D.C.’s first-of-its-kind stormwater retention credit market. Kurtz has a Master’s Degree in public policy from George Mason University and a Bachelor’s Degree in wildlife conservation from the University of Delaware. Born and raised in Maryland, he currently lives in Crownsville with his wife and dog.

Rebecca Flora, Secretary of Planning

In 2010 Rebecca Flora launched Remake Group, LLC a certified woman-owned business as RLF Collaborative. Remake provides strategy development, predevelopment, and project management services for non-government, government, and private sector clients with a deep commitment to sustainable development practices and collaborative processes. ReMAKE projects all include elements that support the advancement of sustainable societies. From 2012-2016, Rebecca served as the Sustainable Communities Practice Leader for Ecology and Environment, Inc. In this role, Rebecca directed the development of four of the New York State Regional Sustainability Plans, representing nearly half of the geographic area of New York State. Another project Rebecca was heavily involved in was developing the State of Colorado’s Resiliency Framework. Rebecca also provided technical expertise for the development of a strategic plan to guide the State of Colorado’s Resiliency and Recovery Office in the future delivery of resiliency Programs. Before founding Remake (2009-2010), Rebecca served as Senior Vice President of Education and Research for the U.S. Green Building Council after having served as a board member of the council from 2002-2008, culminating in Rebecca being named the first-ever female Board Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008. Prior to working at the U.S. Green Building Council, Rebecca served as the Founding Executive Director of the Green Building Alliance (1997-2008) based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Under Rebecca’s leadership, GBA received local and national acclaim for its success as a pioneer in advancing green building practices. During her tenure, Pittsburgh was established as the nation’s leader in green buildings. Rebecca, a resident of Chestertown, MD, graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a BA in Environmental Studies (1980) and received a Master in Urban and Regional Planning from Virginia Tech in 1983. 

Carmel Roques, Secretary of Aging

Carmel Roques is an accomplished healthcare executive with more than 30 years of experience leading senior living organizations. She is an expert in community health, palliative care, strategic planning, organizational development, and all types of care for older adults. Most recently, Roques served for a decade as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Keswick Multi-Care Center in Baltimore, a 138-year-old not-for-profit community healthcare provider, committed to enhancing quality of life for older adults. Roques served as CEO throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including creating the emergency response infrastructure required to successfully keep residents and employees safe and healthy. As CEO, she also spearheaded the opening of Keswick Community Health’s Wise & Well Center for Healthy Living in September 2018. She recently completed a term as a Board Member of the Maryland Commission on Aging, the Maryland Medicare/Medicaid Advisory Committee, and a term on the Maryland Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, and is a past Chair of both the Maryland Philanthropy Network and LifeSpan Network. She is also currently secretary of the board of Maryland Humanities. Before serving as CEO of Keswick, she was the Chief Operating Officer for Virginia United Methodist Homes (VUMH), and prior to that, she worked for twelve years at the Episcopal Ministries to the Aging (EMA) in Eldersburg, Maryland, culminating in over three years as COO. As its executive director, she led EMA’s Copper Ridge team in setting a new national standard for dementia care. Her early career includes time as Director of Adult Day Care and Director of Home Care Services for Catholic Charities in Baltimore, as well as serving as an adjunct professor in the Sociology Department at Youngstown State University. She received a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mills College in Oakland, California. She currently lives in Columbia, Maryland. 

Kevin Anderson, Secretary of Commerce

Kevin Anderson is the Founder & CEO of Cardinal Atlantic Holdings, an economic and community development firm targeting scaled social impact and investment in urban centers. The company specializes in real estate and education technology. CAH advises funds, corporations, and governments on economic and community development strategies and projects. Anderson previously served as Senior Vice President for Global Partnerships at EVERFI, Inc., an educational software company for financial literacy and life skills education where he led government relations and conducted business development. Prior, Anderson was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of City First Homes, Inc. – a community land trust created to support workforce housing and ensure ongoing affordability for working families in the District of Columbia. Prior to City First Homes, Anderson was Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Equity Capital at the Jair Lynch Companies, Inc., a for-profit real estate and community development firm in Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the financial management of JLC’s public, corporate, and real estate ventures. From 2000-2004, Anderson served in Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams’ administration as Special Assistant to the City Administrator and Chief of Staff at the D.C. Department of Transportation. Anderson holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University and has completed finance, leadership, and executive education at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, and the National Development Council. Anderson lives in Upper Marlboro, MD with his wife, The Honorable Tiffany H. Anderson, daughter, Kendall, and twin sons, Kennedy and Kolby.

Mayor Emily Keller, Special Secretary of Opioid Response

Emily Keller is the current Mayor of the City of Hagerstown.  She was elected the first woman Mayor of Hagerstown in 2020. She was a Councilmember during her previous term from 2016-2020. She is the owner-operator of the Emily Keller Insurance and Financial Agency – Farmers Insurance. She has worked to transform the position as Mayor from a figure head to a person who is accessible, relatable, and engaged in the community. During her administration, Hagerstown created positions to ensure public transparency including a community liaison from the police department to the community and creating a LGBTQIA+ Liaison for the community, which has been her for several years.

Her passion is to help people with a substance use disorder and find innovative ways to help solve the substance use crisis our country faces. For several years, she has been the Co-Chair of Washington Goes Purple, a community movement to educate the youth and community about the dangers of drugs, the importance of making healthy choices, and celebrating those in recovery. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Foundation which has the only Recovery High School in the State of Maryland. She has also supported and advocated for increased and robust harm reduction programs, fighting tirelessly to show this crisis as exactly what it is—a public health crisis that we must treat as such. Emily lives in Hagerstown with her teenage daughter, Layla and her pitbull Brooklyn.


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.