ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 30, 2007) - Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown held the first Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Subcabinet meeting this morning in Annapolis and announced the new executive director for the subcabinet. During the organizational meeting, subcabinet members set forth a schedule for future meeting and discussed a timeline for developing a statewide plan for legislative and budgetary BRAC priorities.
“The State of Maryland will face unprecedented challenges and opportunities due to the Base Realignment and Closure process as our state plays an expanded role in the defense of our nation,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Under Lieutenant Governor Brown’s leadership working with our local partners and BRAC coordinators, I am confidant that Maryland can maximize the opportunities presented to us by BRAC.”
The comprehensive strategic plan, including legislative and budgetary priorities, will be delivered to Governor O’Malley by December 1, 2007. Over the next six months, the Subcabinet will hold meetings throughout Maryland with local officials to get an understanding of each jurisdiction’s priorities as well as lessons learned by previous BRAC experiences.
Governor O ’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown have already toured Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Meade and met with officials on both bases. Over the next few months, they will also tour Ft. Detrick and Patuxent Naval Air Station. In addition to the organizational portion of the meeting, the new executive director of the BRAC Subcabinet, Asuntha Chiang-Smith, was introduced.
“Working together as Team Maryland, the State, local jurisdictions, the Maryland Military Installation Council, the Federal Delegation and our private sector, we will ensure that BRAC will sustain and enhance our quality of life for generations to come and that our coordinated approach will streamline the process and assure that priorities are established that meet both long- and short-term needs of the region,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “We are at the forefront of our nation’s defense. It is imperative that we continue to work together to meet the challenges and embrace the opportunities offered to Maryland by BRAC. I am confident that Asuntha will help us to reach our goal.”
Chiang-Smith is a former Administrator of the Office of Federal and Military Affairs and Director of Policy Development at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. In addition, she has been a Special Assistant on Economic Development to Governor Parris N. Glendening and handled military and immigration work for U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. She also worked five years in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Honorable Norman Mineta as a legislative aide. Prior to accepting her position as Executive Director to the BRAC Subcabinet, Chiang-Smith spent several years as a certified Project Manager for CACI’s Veteran’s Health Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services contracts.
“I am honored to be given an opportunity to enhance the mission of our brave service men and women and at the same time serve the residents of my home state,” said Asuntha Chiang Smith. “Working together with the Federal and local governments as well as with the Military Alliances, the Maryland Military Installation Council, and the private sector, we will sustain and enhance the extraordinary quality of life we enjoy in Maryland.”
Other members of the Subcabinet include: Department of Budget and Management Secretary T. Eloise Foster, Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary David W. Edgerley, Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson, Department of Higher Education Secretary Dr. James Earl Lyons, Sr., Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Ray Skinner, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Tom Perez, Department of Planning Secretary Richard Hall, Department of Transportation Secretary John Porcari, and State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick.
As passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor O’Malley, the BRAC Subcabinet shall coordinate and oversee the implementation of all State action to support the missions of military installations in the State affected by the BRAC recommendations; Coordinate and oversee the development of BRAC-related initiatives in the areas of workforce readiness, Grades K-12 and Higher Education, Health Care facilities and services, community infrastructure and growth, environmental stewardship, workforce housing and transportation. In addition, the Subcabinet was tasked with working with the local jurisdictions and federal government, allow for a forum of interdepartmental discussions and deliver a report of legislative and budgetary priorities to the Governor.