November 14, 2022 / press release
RELEASE: Governor-Elect Wes Moore announces key members of leadership team
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carter Elliott, 434-942-4755, Carter@wesmoore.com
Nov. 14, 2022
Governor-Elect Wes Moore announces key members of leadership team
Appointments reflect Moore’s ‘commitment to building government with dynamic and innovative leaders that look like the state’
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Nov. 14, 2022) — Today, Governor-Elect Wes Moore announced the first members of his leadership team. The announcement comes less than a week after Moore soundly defeated Republican Dan Cox with the largest gubernatorial electoral margin in nearly 40 years, and was elected to become Maryland’s first Black Governor.
“Lieutenant Governor-Elect Miller and I are profoundly thankful to the people of Maryland for putting their confidence in us,” said Governor-Elect Wes Moore. “Marylanders expect us to go fast, be bold, and to build a government that meets people where they are. To do that, we must enlist leaders who are not only exceedingly competent, but innovative and hard-charging as we rebuild government to meet the urgent needs families face and make Maryland more competitive. Today, I am pleased to announce the first appointments and nominations of the Moore-Miller administration.”
Fagan Harris as Chief of Staff
Tisha Edwards as Secretary of Appointments
Amanda La Forge as Chief Legal Counsel
Eric Luedtke as Chief Legislative Officer
Helene Grady as Secretary of the Department of Budget and Management
“To move quickly on our ‘leave no one behind’ agenda, we need people who exemplify operational excellence, are dedicated, and will hit the ground running on ‘Day One,’” said Lieutenant Governor-Elect Aruna Miller. “These ‘Day One’ appointments are already doing the work to move our state forward in their respective roles, and we are thrilled to bring them together to help build a stronger, healthier, and wealthier Maryland. We look forward to growing our team in the coming days and weeks under their leadership.”
“I have known Fagan for more than a decade and I am proud to welcome him as our Chief of Staff,” continued Moore. “Fagan is one of our country’s leading social entrepreneurs, bringing extraordinary expertise in talent recruitment, retention, and advancement. He has a formidable track record of driving innovation, and results, in our communities as a sector leader in national service. Fagan is a Marylander who spent his early childhood in Prince George’s County, grew up in Anne Arundel County, and built and led significant institutions in Baltimore City. He is also a proud product of our state’s public schools. Fagan loves Maryland as much as I do, and I couldn’t be more excited to work with him in this critical role.
“I am deeply honored to serve as Governor-Elect Moore’s Chief of Staff,” said Fagan Harris. “Our team is ready to partner with the legislature, and communities across the state, to lead Maryland’s success over the next decade. We will recruit from every corner of the state –– and source the best ideas wherever they are found –– to build an Administration that is fully responsive to the needs of Marylanders and fully equipped to advance the Moore-Miller agenda.”
“Governor Moore is showing us that this administration is ready to hit the ground running,” said Speaker of the House of Delegates Adrienne A. Jones. “This team brings a wealth of experience, innovation and creative abilities to attract the kinds of talent to state government, implement 21st century policy, and make smart investments to level up for the people of Maryland. I could not be more excited to see this team support the Moore-Miller vision for the future of our state.”
About Fagan Harris
Fagan Harris co-founded Baltimore Corps with Governor-Elect Wes Moore, one of Baltimore’s largest, and most effective, nonprofit organizations and a national leader in social innovation. Under his leadership, Baltimore Corps has re-imagined recruiting, hiring, and career advancement for underestimated communities, connecting individuals with “non-traditional” backgrounds, including those without degrees in higher education, to full-time roles in public service and entrepreneurship. Over the last ten years, Baltimore Corps has stepped up to serve the city at critical junctures: during the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore Corps played a central role in the creation and execution of the Baltimore Health Corps that enlisted hundreds of city residents in Baltimore’s pandemic response as full-time public health professionals.
Harris serves on the Board of Directors at AmeriCorps to which he was appointed by President Biden and confirmed by the United States Senate. He also serves on Maryland’s Accountability and Implementation Board. Harris is a Trustee at the Johns Hopkins Hospital at Bayview, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, the Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund, and the Straus Foundation. As chairman of a social impact consultancy, Fagan has guided innovative start-up companies and industry-leading businesses to integrate environmental, social, and good governance practices into their core strategies and operations.
Previously, Fagan served as a Director at The Aspen Institute Impact Careers Initiative where he co-led a team of researchers to publish scholarship on talent pipelines in the public and social sectors. He started his career at College Track where he helped build its College Success program.
Harris holds a B.A. in Political Science and American Studies from Stanford University where he graduated with Honors and a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford where he was a Rhodes scholar.
About Tisha Edwards
For the past two decades, Tisha Edwards has grown organizations, managed multi-million-dollar budgets, and restructured systems for maximum impact. She has the ability to match the reach of public service with the agility of the private sector to ensure all families succeed.
Edwards is most known for intersecting public policy, programmatic innovation, and community engagement to remove the racial inequities that historically have prevented Black and Brown families—and youth in particular—from fulfilling their potential. As the creator of the Mayor’s Office of Children & Family Success in Baltimore City, Edwards designed an office that focused on delivering sustainable outcomes to position families to thrive. Under her leadership, the office successfully distributed nearly $70M in COVID relief and $100M in eviction prevention.
From serving as founding principal of a transformation high school to Chief of Staff to ultimately, Interim CEO of the Baltimore Public School System, Edwards’ evidence-based management led to transformational reforms that increased student achievement and public confidence in the district. Edwards’ experience also includes executive leadership roles at a private foundation and an education company that increased college success of underserved and first-generation students.
In fall of 2021, Edwards became the Chief of Staff to the Maryland gubernatorial campaign of now Governor-elect Wes Moore, who ran on a pledge to ensure equal opportunity for success for all Maryland families. She holds MSW and law degrees from the University of Maryland.
“Throughout her career, Tisha Edwards has built strong partnerships across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors,” said Rachel Garbow Monroe, President & CEO, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. “Tisha also has consistently demonstrated professional excellence and shown genuine compassion in everything she does. I am confident that in her new role as Secretary of Appointments, Ms. Edwards will lead the way in building an inclusive government in order to meet the needs of every Marylander.”
“Tisha’s track record of public service and collaboration across sectors will serve Marylanders well,” said Michael Cryor, President, The Cryor Group. “She brings to this critical role strong executive leadership and an unwavering commitment to equity and inclusion.”
About Helene Grady
Helene Grady is vice president, chief financial officer, and treasurer for Johns Hopkins University, responsible for overseeing the university’s financial and investment functions. She previously served as vice president for planning and budget, charged with developing and managing the university’s operating and capital budgets and five-year financial plan. Among her previous positions, Grady served as deputy director of finance for the City of Baltimore and as the City of Philadelphia’s deputy budget director.
Grady served as vice chair of the board for the College Savings Plans of Maryland (MD529) and as a member of the Maryland Health Care Commission. A Harry S. Truman scholar, she graduated from La Salle University and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Grady is a resident of Baltimore City.
“From helping implement a historic expansion of financial aid to steering us through the unprecedented fiscal challenges of the pandemic, Helene’s leadership at Johns Hopkins over the last dozen years has been indispensable,” said Ron Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins University. “She has been a treasured colleague, and I’m so glad that the people of Maryland will now all get to benefit from her talent, dedication and expertise.”
“Helene is extraordinarily knowledgeable about public finance and government,” said Peggy Watson, former Director of Finance for the City of Baltimore and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor during the O’Malley Administration with oversight responsibility for the Department of Budget and Management. “She will bring a wealth of experience to this role, and she is someone who cares deeply about collaborative, effective government and delivering results for citizens.”
About Amanda La Forge
Amanda has over 20years of experience advising clients on election law, election administration, campaign finance, non-profit taxation and governance, and contractual and commercial matters affecting political and advocacy organizations. She also represents clients in civil litigation in these areas. Most recently, she was Of Counsel to Sandler, Reiff, Lamb, Rosenstein & Birkenstock, PC, and served as counsel to Wes Moore for Maryland.
The President of the Maryland Senate appointed Amanda to the Workplace Harassment Commission, established to modernize the anti-harassment workplace policies in the legislature. Amanda was the Voter Protection Director for the Maryland Democratic Party in multiple election cycles. In addition, she served as Chief of Staff to the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
Amanda was Chief Counsel to the Democratic National Committee, where she advised national party staff and officers on issues including federal and state campaign finance and election law, contracts, employment law and litigation. Before that, Amanda represented Maryland before trial and appellate courts in the Civil Litigation Division with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and served as Counsel to the Baltimore City Board of Elections.
Amanda is a member of the Maryland and D.C. bars. She received her B.A. in International Relations magna cum laude from Boston University and her J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University. She lives in Chevy Chase with her family.
“Amanda LaForge is an exceptional lawyer who will provide the Moore-Miller administration with sound legal advice and judgment,” said Bruce Marcus, of Marcus Bonsib, P.C. “She has the experience with–and knowledge of–state and national issues as well as a keen understanding of the challenges the new gubernatorial administration will encounter.”
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Amanda professionally and through our work on the Board of Emerge Maryland,” said Delegate Nicole A. Williams, Esq. (D-District 22). “Amanda has both private and public sector experience as a trusted legal advisor. She has advised numerous elected officials and campaigns, and will serve Governor Moore and the State of Maryland exceptionally well.”
About Eric Luedtke
Eric Luedtke is the Majority Leader of the Maryland House of Delegates and a career educator. A member of the House since 2011, Delegate Luedtke has chaired subcommittees overseeing education, taxes, economic development, and gaming. As a legislator, he has worked on a broad range of policy issues. A member of the Commission that wrote the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, he championed the state’s historic investment in education. As Chair of the Revenues Committee, he led efforts to improve the effectiveness of the state’s tax incentives for economic development. Legislation he authored significantly expanded access to voting and improved Maryland’s voter registration laws. An advocate for the environment, he worked to pass historic investments in our state parks. He will resign his seat in the House of Delegates to assume his new role as Chief Legislative Officer.
A native Marylander and a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, Delegate Luedtke worked for a decade as a middle school social studies teacher in high needs schools. He currently works as an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. He and his wife Dawn are residents of Ashton where they are raising their four children.
“House Majority Leader Luedtke has been an invaluable partner over the last few years,” said Senate President Bill Ferguson. “Delegate Luedtke’s leadership and advocacy has been crucial to the success of some of our hardest fought battles, like the passage of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and the Great Maryland Outdoors Act. The Moore-Miller Administration will be very well served by bringing Delegate Luedtke onto the team to lead the Governor’s Legislative Office.”
“Eric is one of my most trusted lieutenants, an expert in tax policy and one of the smartest legislators I’ve served with,” said Speaker Adrienne Jones. “Universally respected by his peers, he will be an asset to the Moore-Miller team. While we will miss him in the House, his contributions to the people of Maryland will continue.”
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.