NOTTINGHAM, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski this week made the following personnel announcements:
- Nominated C. Pete Gutwald to serve as Director of the Department of Permits Approvals and Inspections, effective January 15, 2021
- Nominated Steve Lafferty to serve as Director of the Department of Planning effective January 15, 2021, and
- Named Jennifer M. Lynch, PhD. as Baltimore County’s Director of Educational Partnership.
“As we begin our third year in office, I’m thrilled that these talented and dedicated public servants will put their experience and passion to work on behalf of all our residents and communities,” Olszewski said.
Director Permits, Approvals and Inspections
Since May 2019, Pete Gutwald has served as the Director of the Department of Planning, where he has led the County’s public engagement efforts for the Comprehensive Zoning Map Process (CZMP) and other critical community projects amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Director, he helped secure the County’s second Maryland Main Street designation in Reisterstown, the County’s first Maryland Main Street Affiliate designation in Towson, and the County’s second MDOT Transit Oriented Development designation at Martin State Airport. Prior to joining County government, Gutwald served as Director of Planning and Zoning for the City of Annapolis, and as the Director of Planning and Zoning for Harford County. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree from the University of Baltimore.
Director of Planning
Since August 2019, Steve Lafferty has served as Baltimore County’s first Chief Sustainability Officer where he has led the county’s efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change and to promote sustainability initiatives. Under his tenure Baltimore County has made significant progress, including starting development of a countywide Climate Action Plan, launching a landfill gas-to-energy system to capture methane and generate renewable energy, restarting glass recycling, and convening a Youth Climate Working Group to better engage young people in the County’s sustainability efforts.
He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 2007 to 2019 and served as the Howard County Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning. Lafferty holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
“Pete and Steve have been vital members of our team and I look forward to continuing our work together to spur innovation and modernize these core functions of government,” Olszewski said.
Director of Educational Partnership
In this role, Dr. Lynch will advise the County Executive on issues related to the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS), serve as a liaison to the Board of Education and BCPS administration, engage key stakeholders and community members on behalf of the County Executive, coordinate the County’s school-focused COVID-19 related activities, and partner with the BCStat team to track key metrics in alignment with the County’s Strategic Plan.
She joins County government after serving in BCPS since 2006, where she worked as a school psychologist before becoming an Assistant Principal in 2014. In 2017, she was named principal of Hillcrest Elementary School, where she has led a school community of over 700 students and 90 employees. Under Dr. Lynch’s leadership, Hillcrest Elementary was named one of the top performing schools on PARCC standardized tests in the Baltimore region and she was nominated as BCPS Principal of the Year in 2018 and 2019. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Towson University, and a doctorate from the University of Maryland.
“Like me, Dr. Lynch shares a passion for our young people and is committed to unleashing their full potential,” Olszewski said. “I’m thrilled to have her join our team amid this critical time for BCPS as we continue building on our progress to provide every child in every community with the world-class education they deserve.”