Business, Politics

Governor Wes Moore appoints first secretary of Department of Service and Civic Innovation

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Wes Moore this week announced the appointment of Paul Monteiro as first secretary of the newly created Department of Service and Civic Innovation.

“Paul’s nomination is the result of a months-long, nationwide search to find someone with the vision, the experience, the integrity, and the skill to unleash the full potential of this new department.” said Governor Moore. “Service breaks down differences creating uncommon bonds. With Paul’s leadership, this first of its kind department will inspire our youth to dream bigger while giving back to Maryland.”

The Governor was joined by Lt. Governor Aruna Miller, and guests including Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, first woman Lt. Governor of Maryland, Tim Shriver, chair of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors, and John Gomperts, former director of AmeriCorps.

“Paul is a lifelong public servant who understands the meaning of service. He also has the expertise and the vision to put the principle of service into practice,” said Lieutenant Governor Miller. “Paul’s leadership over this historic agency will help foster a culture throughout Maryland where every individual feels inspired to serve their community.”

“It is my sincere honor to be Governor Moore’s nominee as the first secretary of the Department of Service and Civic Innovation,” said Paul Monteiro. “I look forward to leading an agency that will celebrate the many ways Marylanders are already serving, as it builds new pathways for us to do even more and bend the arc toward stronger and more resilient communities.”

On his first full day in office, Governor Moore signed his second executive order creating the Department of Service and Civic Innovation. The mission of the office is to consolidate and elevate the agencies of state government that support service opportunities in Maryland. This department will be the home of Maryland’s Service Year Option, through which high school graduates will have the opportunity to serve their communities and their state, be paid for their work, and learn skills that will serve them in their futures.

Paul Monteiro, Acting Secretary of Department of Service and Civic Engagement

Paul Monteiro served as the Director of the United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS). Monteiro returned to CRS after serving as chief of staff to the president and assistant vice president of external affairs at Howard University.

Monteiro previously served as the CRS Acting Director from December 2015 to January 2017. During his tenure, he oversaw CRS’s work supporting communities as they worked to reduce tensions and to prevent and respond to bias incidents and hate crimes.

In 2014, before first joining CRS, President Barack Obama appointed Monteiro as national director of AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), the federal anti-poverty program established in 1965 as the domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps.

Previously, Monteiro joined the White House staff as an associate director in the Office of Public Engagement after serving on Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign as the deputy director for religious affairs. In that role, he worked on President Obama’s Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Initiative, the My Brother’s Keeper mentorship program for young men, and as a liaison to religious and secular belief communities as well as ethnic groups, including Arab American and Afghan American groups.

Monteiro also served as an at-large member of the Prince George’s County (Maryland) Public Schools Board of Education. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.

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