County Executive Pittman Names Ben Birge as New CEO of Economic Development

Additional leadership changes announced as county focuses on COVID-19 recovery

Annapolis, Md. (June 17, 2020) Today, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced that Chief Administrative Officer Ben Birge will become the new President/CEO for the county’s Economic Development Corporation. He is tasked with implementing the County Executive’s post-pandemic “Build Back Better” economic development vision.

“Ben makes big things happen,” said County Executive Pittman. “Over the past 19 months, he created ArundelStat and its Open Arundel web portal, installed impressive deputies to oversee land use and health and human services, and built a team of department heads that has delivered an unprecedented quality and quantity of service to this county. Now, as President/CEO of Economic Development, Ben will do for our economy what he’s done for our government. He will Build Back Better from this pandemic, not just to drive growth in our tax base, but to improve the lives of our residents.”

County Executive Pittman named Matt Power, the deputy chief administrative officer for land use, as the new chief administrative officer to replace Mr. Birge.

“Matt joined our staff just six months ago, but demonstrated quickly that he has the ability to deliver the kind of open, data-driven, efficient government operations that our residents deserve,” said County Executive Pittman. “His outstanding management during the most urgent moments of the pandemic showed me that he has the strength and the skills to be an excellent CAO.”

Before becoming deputy CAO in January, Mr. Power held several senior roles in state government. He was the director of StateStat under Governor Martin O’Malley, where he led the BayStat and ClimateStat initiatives to align the work of multiple state agencies to achieve a cleaner Chesapeake Bay and to fight the effects of climate change. Prior to that he served as the deputy secretary at the Maryland Department of Planning.

County Executive Pittman also announced another senior leadership change today. Kai Boggess-de Bruin, PhD, currently the deputy CAO for health and human services, will become Chief of Staff.

“Dr. Kai has a burning social conscience, empathy, and the firmness that it takes to deliver in a crisis,” said County Executive Pittman. “She has shown all of those qualities in recent months as she tactfully navigated county government to build a humanitarian response to the harsh impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as chief of staff, Kai will ensure that serving the most vulnerable residents of our county remains at the forefront of our agenda, and that longstanding issues of bias and equity are confronted inside our government and throughout our communities.”

Dr. Boggess-de Bruin’s background includes experience in human services and information technology in the private, non-profit, and government sectors. Previously, she served as the Assistant Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance for the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services where she was responsible for overseeing performance management, corrective action planning, data analysis and reporting, and change management for all department programs.

Current Chief of Staff, Jennifer Purcell, PhD, is stepping down from her post to implement priority projects for County Executive Pittman with a focus on education, health and community engagement initiatives.

“Over the last 19 months I always turned to Jennifer when a difficult project needed to be managed carefully: our transition teams, ending 287(g), the gun violence prevention task force, and bringing our team together to confront racism, sexism, and biases that stood in the way of excellence,” said County Executive Pittman. “Jennifer made the case to me months ago that her greatest value to the administration was in delivering on specific projects, but I resisted that move until I saw that we had within our office an ideal replacement in Dr. Kai.”

Mr. Birge, Mr. Power, Dr. Boggess-de Bruin, and Dr. Purcell will begin working in their new roles immediately. The next two weeks will serve as a transition period and the new positions will officially be effective July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

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