Interim Human Resources secretary takes the job
Gov. Martin O'Malley has chosen aide Ted Dallas to lead the Department of Human Resources, the state's fourth-largest agency. The Democratic governor also announced hiring choices for communications director and deputy chief of staff (see jump).
Dallas has been O'Malley's deputy chief of staff since March 2010 and has served as interim Human Resources secretary since January. When Secretary Brenda Donald left the agency in July, O'Malley said his administration would conduct a national search for her replacement.
“I am pleased that Ted has chosen to step up and lead our Department of Human Resources," O'Malley said in a statement.
O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec said the administration considered candidates from Florida, Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere before asking Dallas to take the job.
Dallas said he is pleased to become secretary of "an agency that helps people."
"The impact the agency can have on people's lives, particularly on the most vulnerable among us, is a rare opportunity," he said in an interview today.
Before coming to Maryland, Dallas was the second-in-command at Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare. He has also worked as an aide to Philadelphia's then-Mayor Ed Rendell and in the private sector for an IT company.
The Pennsylvania welfare agency, which Dallas helped lead for five years, is far larger than Maryland's, combining elements of human resources, juvenile services and health. It has a budget of $23 billion and about 19,000 employees, Dallas said.
The Maryland agency has a $2.6 billion budget and about 6,600 employees.
O'Malley also announced today that Raquel Guillory will be his new communications director and Catherine Motz will fill Dallas' former position as deputy chief of staff. Guillory has served as Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler's chief spokeswoman for the past several years, and Motz has been the governor's deputy legal counsel for the past four years.