EASTON — Gov. Larry Hogan announced Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio as the state’s new secretary of natural resources Friday, Jan. 18.

Haddaway-Riccio currently serves as a deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office, where she advises on environmental-related issues, a news release states.

“Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio has been a strong member of my executive team since day one and has a proven track record of working to protect Maryland’s environment,” Hogan said. “I know that Jeannie will be instrumental in ensuring that we continue to build on our incredible progress in preserving our state’s precious natural resources.”

Haddaway-Riccio previously was director of intergovernmental affairs for Hogan, where she served as the governor’s liaison to local governments, including working with the Maryland Association of Counties and the Maryland Municipal League.

Haddaway-Riccio served as District 37B delegate, representing Talbot County from 2003 to 2015. She was a member of numerous committees, including the Economic Matters Committee, the Joint Committee on Federal Relations and the Legislative Policy Committee. She also served as minority whip in the House of Delegates from 2011 to 2013.

Current representative Del. Johnny Mautz, 37B-Talbot, said he was excited to learn of Haddaway-Riccio’s appointment.

“I’m delighted that the governor has selected Jeannie. She’s going to be a great leader for the agency and for our natural resources,” Mautz said. “She has the policy experience and the lifetime experience to know how to take the agency in a direction that will build a sound and sustainable future that’s going to benefit our entire state and our environment.

“If I could pick anyone right now to lead that agency, Jeannie would get my vote. I’d also like to thank Secretary Belton for his service and his dedication.”

Haddaway-Riccio also has worked for the Maryland Department of Environment’s Air and Radiation Management Administration, and the National Audubon Society.

“As a lifelong and proud native of the Eastern Shore, serving our citizens and protecting Maryland’s natural resources has always been my passion,” Haddaway-Riccio said. “I would like to thank Gov. Hogan for this exciting opportunity and look forward to helping further the administration’s environmental agenda in my new role.”

Haddaway-Riccio will replace Secretary Mark Belton, who is returning to his former post as Charles County administrator. Belton previously served in the role from December 2012 to December 2014, before joining the Hogan administration at the start of the governor’s first term in 2015.

“I sincerely thank Secretary Belton for his service to the state and wish him the best of luck in his new position,” Hogan said.

Haddaway-Ricco’s appointment will take effect in early February.

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