Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today made public his selection of four people that he would step into two empty department head seats and two newly created department heads.
Leggett would tap Scott E. Goldstein as the new fire chief, Robert L. Green as head of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Cherri L. Branson as head of the Office of Procurement, and Michael Smith to the post of Development Ombudsman.
“These selections reflect the best of the past and present in County Government,” said Leggett.
The appointments of Green, Goldstein, Branson and Smith are subject to confirmation by the County Council.
Scott E. Goldstein
During his 25-year career with the Montgomery County Fire-Rescue Service, Goldstein has worked his way up the ranks, achieving increasingly higher positions of responsibility and gaining a broad base of experience.
“As a 25-year veteran of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, Scott Goldstein has a thorough knowledge of our system and the many operations that keep it functioning at its high-level of service,” said Leggett. “His service as acting chief, since the retirement of Chief Lohr in January, has been exceptional. His experience at all levels of fire and rescue service at the local level and with major incidents across the country gives him a broad perspective on issues that could arise locally.”
Before being named acting chief upon the retirement of Chief Steve Lohr on January 1, Goldstein was Division Chief of Operations , the second-highest position in the department. Under his leadership were multiple functions, such as Special Operations, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Communications (9-1-1) and Field Operations. The division had more than 900 personnel that provided services from 37 stations to more than one million County residents situated over 500 square miles.
His previous position was Assistant Chief of Special Operations that involved daily management of fire-rescue personnel in the section serving in Hazardous Materials, Technical Rescue, Water Rescue and Weapons of Mass Destruction Response.
Goldstein has experience in developing and coordinating MCFRS preventive and reactive response to mass gathering events such as pro golf tournaments, multi-day walks, the County Agricultural Fair and music festivals/concerts.
He has participated in a number of disaster response operations, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the attack on the Pentagon on 9/11, hurricanes, and the 1996 bombing at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Goldstein has an Associate Degree in Applied Science from Montgomery Community College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland, College Park and is a candidate for a Masters of Science in Homeland Security from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
Robert L. Green
Before coming to DOCR, Green served for 15 years with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, beginning in 1985 as a Correctional Officer/Assistant Commander. Through his time there, he progressed through the ranks and in 1997 became Director of Corrections/Corrections Bureau Chief.
Following a national search by Montgomery County, Green was chosen in 2000 as a Division Chief/Warden at DOCR for the County’s Correctional Facility (MCCF) in Clarksburg and the Detention Center in Rockville.
During his time at DOCR, Green created a Detention Services Re-entry Unit at the MCCF in Clarksburg that has been recognized as a national model. In 2014, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez visited Clarksburg as part of the kick-off to replicate the program across the country.
“In Rob Green, we have a veteran,” said Leggett, “nationally recognized correction officer who has capably led Correction and Rehabilitation since former director Art Wallenstein retired in March. U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez has called Rob ‘…not only a local leader, but a national leader.’ In addition to his expertise and experience as a correctional officer and manager, Rob understands how government and stakeholder groups can work together for the betterment of our entire community.”
Through partnerships he created with the Department of Health and Human Services to implement the Affordable Care Act within a correctional facility, the County saved more than $150,000 in the first year.
Partnerships developed with Montgomery College were designed to create programs including one working with American Prison data Systems to introduce the use of wireless tablets to the jail population for further educational and re-entry opportunities.
Green has appeared as an expert witness in Congressional hearings on the Prison Rape Elimination Act, gang violence and funding for correctional mental health. He is currently chairman of the Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards, having been appointed by previous Governor Martin O’Malley in 2007.
He attended Hagerstown Community College, was enrolled in the Regents Bachelor of Arts Program/Criminal Justice at Shepherd University in West Virginia and studied Government/Public Safety Management at the University of Maryland, University College.
Cherri L. Branson
“To head the newly created Office of Procurement,” Leggett said, “I have chosen former County Councilmember Cherri Branson. With more than two decades of government experience at the federal and local levels, she is an ideal choice to direct procurement operations in Montgomery County. Cherri has worked to help increase the participation of small, minority and women-owned businesses in federal contracting opportunities. And, she supports my goals of making it easy to do business here and to ensure that all businesses get a fair shake.”
Branson brings to the director’s position, more than 20 years of experience at the federal level including government oversight in contracting practices and procurement.
Most recently, her service to County Government included a term on the County Council, from January to December 2014, filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Valerie Ervin (District 5).
For seven years prior to her term on the Council, Branson was Chief Counsel for Oversight for the House Committee on Homeland Security. In that capacity, she developed an oversight agenda which focused heavily on the contracting within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the newest agency with the third largest budget in the Federal government, DHS carries out much of its mandate through the use of contracts and grants. As a part of the congressional oversight function, she examined every facet of the acquisition process, including but not limited to, acquisition planning, factors used in the decision to use an Request for Proposal, the selection process, the determination of best value, the inclusion of operations and maintenance considerations, the award process, the post-award process and the bid protest procedures to determine whether appropriated funds were used in a manner that promoted economy and efficiency while assuring the agency’s ability to carry out critical mission functions.
Additionally, as part of her duties, she spearheaded all legislative and policy initiatives for committee action designed to increase the participation of small, minority and women-owned businesses in contract opportunities with the federal government, as well as initiatives to increase employment diversity.
As Senior Investigative Counsel for the same committee from 2005 to 2007, she conducted several major investigations intro contracting and procurement problems that arose in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Earlier in her career, as associate counsel to the Subcommittee on Human resources and Intergovernmental relations Committee on Government relations, she conducted investigations of federal contracting practices.
Branson has a B.A. degree from Vassar College, a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington, and an LL.M. in Litigation from Emory University School of Law.
In support of the new direction/structure for the County’s Economic Development program announced today by County Executive Ike Leggett, the Executive presented his selection of real estate executive Michael Smith for the post of Development Ombudsman.
The selection of an ombudsman is part of Leggett’s intention, as stated in his inaugural address last December, to “refocus on our economic growth and shared prosperity and put to rest some misperceptions about the business climate in Montgomery County.” As part of his six-point economic development plan outlined in the speech, the Executive recommended appointing “…a Development Ombudsperson to help facilitate problem-solving and ensure transparency and responsiveness for our business community.”
“We have found the ideal candidate in Michael Smith who brings a wealth of experience in the public and private sectors and an enthusiastic, dynamic approach to the job of helping businesses to locate and expand in the County.
Smith brings to the position a private-sector real estate development perspective spanning more than 25 years. Through his years in development, he has been responsible for all aspects of private projects from conceptualization, financial and market feasibility to financing and permitting and has led some of the most prominent projects in the Washington DC region.
Most recently, he was senior vice president/principal with LCOR Inc. in Bethesda and was principal with Centre Associates in Baltimore and Boston. His experience with Centre Associates also involved work with several high-profile public sector projects for the State of Massachusetts.
Smith has a B.A., with Honors, in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration from Northeastern University, and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Caption: Interim Fire Chief Scott Goldstein after being introduced by County Executive Isiah Leggett yesterday. Photo courtesy MCFRS.