Robert M. Summers, a veteran MDE official acclaimed for his role in efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay and his expertise in a range of environmental issues, has been appointed Maryland’s Secretary of the Environment.
Secretary Summers had been serving as Acting Secretary of the Department since December. His appointment to be Secretary was announced by Governor Martin O’Malley at an April 28 meeting of the state’s Executive Cabinet.
“With his highly-regarded expertise, straightforward approach to finding workable solutions, and passion for clean water, clean air and a healthy environment, we are confident that his continued leadership will serve the people of our State well as we work to protect our environmental priorities,” Governor O’Malley said.
Throughout his 28-year career, Secretary Summers has been a key contributor to Maryland’s nationally prominent environmental programs, including the multi-jurisdictional Chesapeake Bay restoration effort, with an emphasis on scientific and technical issues related to water pollution control, drinking water protection, and federal, State and local government environmental laws and regulations.
He has worked at MDE since its creation in 1987 and has served as the Director of the Water Management Administration and Director of the Technical and Regulatory Services Administration. He served as Deputy Secretary for the Department of the Environment starting in 2007.
“I am honored to be asked to lead the Department’s work to safeguard drinking water, clean up the Chesapeake Bay and local rivers and streams, make our air healthier to breathe, and protect families from hazards – including childhood lead poisoning,” Secretary Summers said. “I am committed to application of the best science, the best service using e-commerce, predictability and transparency in permitting, and encouraging innovative technologies to protect public health and the environment. We have an enormous opportunity to foster innovation and create jobs with the Bay and environmental restoration, just like we are doing with climate change and renewable energy.”
Secretary Summers serves as Maryland’s Commissioner on the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, and the Appalachian States’ Low Level Radioactive Waste Commission.
Secretary Summers received his B.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1982) in Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, where he was a student of the late Dr. M. Gordon “Reds” Wolman.
On June 28, Kathy M. Kinsey, Senior Policy Advisor at MDE and former Deputy Counsel to the Department, was named Deputy Secretary of the agency.
Deputy Secretary Kinsey brings to her new position more than two decades of experience with MDE and the Office of the Attorney General on a broad range of permit, enforcement, and operational issues.
"It's a privilege to serve as Deputy Secretary under Secretary Summers during a time when we face many difficult environmental challenges, including restoration of the Bay, improvement of our air quality, and cleanup of contaminated industrial properties," Deputy Secretary Kinsey said. "I look forward to continuing to work with the many talented people at MDE dedicated to protecting public health and the environment."
Deputy Secretary Kinsey received a Bachelor's degree in radio, television, and film in 1975 from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her law degree with honors in 1987 from the University of Maryland School of Law.