County Council OKs New Environmental Director and New Director of the Office of Community Partnershi
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has appointed Adam Ortiz as the director of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Diane Vy Nguyen-Vu as director of the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP). Both nominations were confirmed by the County Council on January 29.
“I am grateful the County Council saw fit to confirm these new directors,” said Elrich. “Adam Ortiz has a great track record and has done some really innovative things on the leading edge of environmental sustainability and moving to zero waste, so I feel lucky to bring him here. And, Diane Vu has been an indefatigable force in our County, crucial to helping County Government understand, address, and meet the needs of our diverse community while strengthening the County by connecting our dynamic population with necessary resources so all may thrive here.”
Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro joined Elrich in his praise for the newly confirmed directors.
“The Council voted to confirm Diane Vu as the new Director of the Office of Community Partnerships,” said Navarro. “I am pleased to hear she will work to find ways to engage our diverse community. On behalf of the Council, we look forward to continuing our partnership together as she begins work in this important role. I am also thrilled to support the appointment of Mr. Ortiz as director of the County’s Department of Environmental Protection. His work as an environmental progressive is a perfect fit for our ambitious agenda here in Montgomery County. Also, on behalf of the immigrant community I want to congratulate Adam and Diane — it is important to recognize our leaders and bright stars here in Maryland.”
Ortiz, who is the former director of Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, has worked in his Prince George’s position since October 2012. The department, with a staff of more than 300 and annual budget of $170 million, gained recognition for innovative programs including organizing one of the largest organics composting facility on the East Coast. Other initiatives he oversaw included implementation of a $200 million public-private partnership for green infrastructure and projects with faith, nonprofit, and business sectors that focused on small and minority business development. He previously managed the Prince George’s CountyStat office.
From 2005 to 2011, he served three terms as mayor of the Maryland town of Edmonston. He also served as the deputy chief of staff for former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. Ortiz is a graduate of Goucher College in Baltimore.
Vu joined Montgomery County Government in January 2012, as the Office of Community Partnership’s liaison to the Asian Pacific American community, and as language access coordinator.
At OCP, she formed the Montgomery County Legal Immigration Service Providers Network and led the County’s Citizenship Initiative.
She staffed three working delegation trips to Montgomery Sister Cities communities in China, India, and South Korea. She also served as chair for the My Brother’s Keeper LGBTQ Affinity Workgroup.
Prior to joining the County, Vu served as an AmeriCorps Fellow and as executive director of the Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association (now called the Association of Vietnamese Americans).
A graduate of Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg, she holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Elrich has launched a national search to fill other key leadership roles in his administration. In the next few weeks, he is expected to announce more appointments. Those nominations also will have to be confirmed by the County Council.
Photos courtesy Montgomery County