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Governing Board Members

The MLDS Governing Board is made up of 12 members. Seven of those members are designated by statute, including the Chancellor of the University System, the State Superintendent of Schools, the Secretary of Higher Education, the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, the President of Morgan State University, the Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges, and the President of the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association. The other five members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. One appointee must be a representative of local superintendents of schools and another must have expertise in large data systems and data security. The chair of the Governing Board is appointed by the Governor.

The twelve members are:

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1. James D. Fielder, Jr., Ph.D., Secretary of Higher Education, Chairman

Secretary of Higher Education since December 17, 2015.

Member, Governor's Executive Council, 2015-; Governor's Subcabinet for International Affairs, 2015-; Smart Growth Subcabinet, 2015-;Governor’s Warrior to Worker Council, 2015-. Chair, Segmental Advisory Council, 2015-. Member, Task Force to Study the Impact of Expanding Credit and Noncredit Courses for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2015-; College Savings Plans of Maryland Board, 2015-; Coordinating Council for Juvenile Services Educational Programs, 2015-; Correctional Education Council, 2015-; Financial Education and Capability Commission, 2015-; Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, 2015-; Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs, 2015-; Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center Governing Board, 2015-; Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness, 2015-;Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs, 2015-; P-20 Leadership Council on Maryland, 22015-; Southern Regional Education Board, 2015-; Student Transfer Advisory Committee, 2015-; Governor's Workforce Investment Board, 2015-; Board of Directors, Maryland Workforce Corporation, 2015-.

Director, Office of Economic Development, Harford County, 1991-94.

Assistant Secretary for Business Development, Department of Economic and Employment Development, 1994. Acting Secretary of Economic and Employment Development, January-April, 1995. Deputy Secretary, Department of Business and Economic Development, 1995-98. Board of Directors, Maryland Small Business Development Center Network, 1992-93 (executive committee). Member, State Information Technology Board, 1995-98; Maryland Economic Development Corporation, 1995-98; Port Land Use Task Force, 1996; Task Force to Study Retail Electric Competition and the Restructuring of the Electric Utility Industry, 1997-98.

Acting Secretary of Business and Economic Development, April 28, 1998 to November 27, 1998. Member, Governor's Executive Council, 1998; Cabinet Council for Career and Technology Education, 1998; Cabinet Council on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, 1998; Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation Subcabinet, 1998; Maryland Economic Development Commission, 1998; Maryland Industrial Development Financing Authority, 1998; Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority, 1998; Maryland Aviation Commission, 1998; Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness, 1998; Advisory Council for Port Land-Use Development, 1998; State Use Industries Advisory Committee, 1998; Governor's Council on Adolescent Pregnancy, 1998; Maryland Museum of African-American History and Culture Commission, 1998; Maryland Advisory Council for New Americans, 1998.

Vice-President for Administration and Finance, Towson University, 1999-2000.

Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, March 12, 2003 to January 17, 2007. Acting Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, January 16 to March 12, 2003. Member, Governor's Executive Council, 2003-07. Member, Unemployment Insurance Funding Task Force, 2003; Asbestos Oversight Committee, 2003-07; Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code Advisory Council, 2003-07; Governor's Interagency Council on Homelessness, 2003-07; Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness, 2003-07; Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs, 2003-07; Maryland Advisory Council for New Americans, 2003-07; Governor's Interagency Council for the Nonprofit Sector, 2003-07; State Board of Pilots, 2003-07; Governor's Workforce Investment Board, 2003-07 (executive committee); Governor's Task Force on Centralized Bidder Registration for Minority Business Procurement, 2004-05; Interagency Disabilities Board, 2004-07; Task Force on Common Ownership Communities, 2005-06.

Town Administrator, Bel Air, 2014-15.

Member, Governor-elect's Transition Team, 2014-15.

Secretary of Appointments, Office of Governor, January 21 to December 16, 2015.

Born in Harford County, Maryland, July 2, 1948. University of Maryland, College Park, B.S., 1970, M.ED., 1972; Michigan State University, Ph.D., 1984. Director, Budget, Human Resources, and Analysis, University of Michigan - Flint, 1981-83. President, On-Campus Management, Capstone Properties, 2000-03. Chief Business Development Officer, SMART Business Advisory and Consulting, 2007-08. Regional Director, Business Development, CliftonLarsonAllen, 2008-12. Vice-President, Business Development, Woofound, Inc., 2012-13. Board of Directors, Liriodendron Foundation, Inc., 1988-91; Al Cesky Scholarship Foundation, Inc., 1989-91; National Association of State Development Agencies, 1997- (member, 1992-97). Co-Chair, Board of Directors, Harford County Farm Fair, 1989-96. Co-Chair, March of Dimes Walkathon, Harford County, 1990-91. Vice-President, Business and Education Advisory Task Force, Harford County Department of Education, 1992-93. President, Maryland Industrial Development Association, 1993-94 (vice-president, 1992-93). Member, Legislative Committee, Harford County Chamber of Commerce, 1990 (chair, strategic planning subcommittee); Southern Industrial Development Council, 1991-97; International Development Research Council, 1991-97; Maryland Distribution Council, 1995-98. Leadership Maryland, Class of 1998. Board of Directors, Leadership Maryland, 2014-. Vice-President, Board of Directors, Community Foundation of Harford County, 2014-. Award, Outstanding Young Men of America, National Jaycees, 1978. Who's Who in United States Business Executives, 1990. Governor's Citation, 1992, 1997. Governor's Salute to Excellence Award, 1993.

2. Bob Caret, Ph.D., Chancellor of the University System of Maryland
Dr. Bob Caret

Robert L. Caret joined the University System of Maryland (USM) as its fourth chancellor on July 1, 2015. No stranger to Maryland, Caret is a former president of Towson University, a USM institution

During his 20 years of public higher education leadership, Caret has earned respect for his successful work in several areas, including helping to ensure college affordability, academic excellence, and the efficient use of resources. In addition, he is credited with emphasizing university partnerships to enhance students' experiences and to impact regional progress in economic and workforce development and other areas.

Before joining USM as chancellor, Caret was president of the University of Massachusetts System (UMass) from 2011 until 2015. Throughout his UMass tenure, he has emphasized efficiency, cost-saving initiatives, and productive working relationships with Massachusetts government and business leaders. His successful pursuit of a 50-50 funding formula for UMass resulted in the state and students contributing equally to the university's general education program and a 22 percent increase in the base budget for two years. He also secured additional state funding, allowing UMass to freeze tuition and mandatory fees for in-state undergraduate students for two consecutive years.

Prior to joining UMass, Caret was president of Towson University (TU) from 2003 to 2011, where he also served as a faculty member, dean, executive vice president and provost during his more than 25-year tenure there. At Towson, he created partnerships with regional business, non-profit and civic organizations; raised student graduation rates; and undertook a capital fundraising and building campaign to support campus infrastructure improvements. He oversaw an increase in the university's online courses and expanded the availability of TU courses at regional higher education centers. He was instrumental in establishing Towson University in Northeastern Maryland, which offers transfer students the flexibility to pursue a four-year degree after completing an associate's degree at a community college.

From 1995 to 2003, Caret served as president of San Jose State University (SJSU), part of the California State University System. He is credited with bringing a vision for SJSU as the metropolitan university of Silicon Valley.

Active in the national higher education community, Caret serves on the National Association of System Heads and the Business-Higher Education Forum boards. He also is a member of the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board and the Government University Industry Research Roundtable

Caret holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of New Hampshire and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Suffolk University in Boston.

3. Karen B. Salmon, Ph.D., State Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Karen B. Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools became Secretary-Treasurer of the State Board on June 1, 2016 and became State Superintendent of Schools on July 1. She joined the State Department of Education last year, first as Assistant State Superintendent for College and Career Readiness and soon thereafter as Interim State Superintendent for School Effectiveness.

Immediately prior to joining MSDE, Dr. Salmon served as Superintendent of Schools on the Bay Shore Union Free School District in Bay Shore, NY.

Dr. Salmon spent more than 30 years as an educator on Maryland's Eastern Shore, beginning her career as a special education teacher in the Caroline County Public Schools. She later became a vocational coordinator and an assistant principal in the Caroline schools before moving to Talbot County as Coordinator of Services for Exceptional Children. Dr. Salmon became Assistant Superintendent of the Talbot County schools in 1997 and Superintendent in 2003.

Named the Maryland Superintendent of the Year in 2012, Dr. Salmon is the recipient of numerous awards and honors throughout her educational career. Dr. Salmon holds a Ph.D. in Special Education/Administration from the University of Maryland College Park, as well as a Masters in Special Education from the same institution. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Delaware.

A native of Harford County and the daughter of an educator, Dr. Salmon and her husband John reside in Bozman, MD. They are the parents of two grown daughters: Lauren, an oncologist living in Virginia, and Rachael, a student at the University of Maryland College Park. Both children graduated from Talbot County public schools

4. James E. Rzepkowski, Acting Secretary, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
James E. Rzepkowski

James E. Rzepkowski was appointed acting secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in January 2019. Rzepkowski serves the state in two capacities: In his current role as assistant secretary for DLLR’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning, and as acting secretary over the agency, leading the Department of Labor in protecting and empowering Marylanders by safeguarding workers, protecting consumers, and cultivating a thriving workforce that meets the demands of Maryland’s dynamic economy.

The Maryland Department of Labor has several divisions including unemployment insurance, occupational and professional licensing, financial regulation, labor and industry, workforce development and adult learning, the Maryland Racing Commission, and the Governor's Workforce Development Board. The agency employs nearly 2,000 workers and has an operating budget of more than $375 million.

In his role as assistant secretary of workforce development, Rzepkowski works to develop and implement important workforce development programs throughout the state, in adult education and literacy services, correctional education, fiscal administration, and workforce information and performance.

Rzepkowski’s work history exemplifies his passion for building a pipeline of skilled, talented workers. Prior to his appointment as assistant secretary in 2015, he served eight years as the corporate director of workforce development at Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, headquartered in Baltimore. There he developed and implemented mission-critical workforce development initiatives that leveraged strategic partnerships with educational institutions to address the growing talent needs of the energy industry.

Prior to that, he served 12 years in state government in both executive and legislative roles: three years as an assistant secretary with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (now the Department of Commerce), and nine years as an elected member of the Maryland House of Delegates representing the 32nd legislative district in Northern Anne Arundel County. He served on the House Ways and Means Committee where he dealt with a vast array of business issues including business fees and tax proposals, and horse racing.

Acting Secretary Rzepkowski holds a bachelor’s degree in government and politics with Phi Beta Kappa honors from the University of Maryland College Park. He resides in Anne Arundel County with his wife, Laura, and two children.

5. David Wilson, Ed.D., President of Morgan State University
Dr. David Wilson

Dr. David Wilson is the President of Morgan State University. Dr. Wilson formerly served as the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin Extensions. He has also served as the Assistant Provost at Auburn University and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Dr. Wilson received his Ph.D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University, Masters Degrees from both Harvard University and the Tuskegee Institute and a B.S. in Political Science from the Tuskegee Institute. He has received numerous awards and honors and has been a widely sought speaker and consultant on the strategic value of diversity in higher education. Dr. Wilson is a resident of Baltimore City.

6. Bernard Sadusky, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges
Dr. Bernard J. Sadusky

Dr. Sadusky began as MACC Executive Director in July 2012, after completing a year of service as interim superintendent at the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), where he filled the position left vacant by the 2011 retirement of Dr. Nancy Grasmick. Dr. Sadusky served as superintendent of schools in Maryland’s Queen Anne’s County from 1994 to 2007, and spent more than 30 years in total in the Queen Anne’s school system as an administrator and teacher. He was recognized as Maryland’s Superintendent of the Year in 2007. Following his retirement in Queen Anne’s County, he joined MSDE as policy liaison to the local school systems, before being appointed by the Maryland Board of Education to serve as interim state superintendent in 2011. With this extensive background in K-12 education in Maryland, Dr. Sadusky is recognized as having played an important role in achieving and maintaining “Maryland’s status as the number one school system in the nation.” In his role as the executive director of Maryland’s 16 community colleges, Dr. Sadusky is working with the Governor’s P-20 Council to integrate and enhance the alignment of K-12 with Maryland’s postsecondary education and training. Dr. Sadusky received his bachelor's degree in biology from King's College in Pennsylvania. He holds a master’s degree in psychology from Washington College and a doctorate in educational administration from Nova-Southeastern University.

7. Tina Bjarekull, President of the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association
Tina M. Bjarekull

Tina Bjarekull is President of the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA), a voluntary association that serves as the official liaison between sixteen independent colleges and the State and federal governments. Prior to joining MICUA, Ms. Bjarekull served as the Deputy Superintendent for Finance at the Maryland State Department of Education and was responsible for the administration of fiscal policy, human resource management, procurement, school facilities, pupil transportation, and nutrition. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bjarekull served as Assistant Secretary of Finance for the Maryland Higher Education Commission and as a Senior Analyst for the Budget and Taxation Committee of the Maryland Senate. Ms. Bjarekull serves on numerous statewide boards, commissions, workgroups, and task forces on higher education policy, finance, and economic development. In addition, she has served in leadership positions for national organizations, including president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives (NAICUSE), Chair of the NAICU Policy Analysis and Public Relations Subcommittee, and member of the NAICU Executive Committee. Ms. Bjarekull holds an M.B.A. from Loyola University Maryland.

8. Jack R. Smith, Ph.D., Superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools
Clayton Wilcox, Ed.D.

Dr. Jack R. Smith began his tenure as superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) on July 1, 2016.

A dedicated lifelong educator, Dr. Smith has been a classroom teacher, principal, curriculum director, and a local superintendent of schools.

Dr. Jack R. Smith was appointed interim state superintendent of schools and treasurer of the Maryland State Board of Education on September 14, 2015. Dr. Smith joined the Maryland State Department of Education as the chief academic officer for the Office of Teaching and Learning in August 2013. As the chief academic offi cer, he worked closely with local school systems, parents, businesses, teacher associations, institutes of higher education, and government agencies at the state and national level to ensure high-quality teaching and learning took place in Maryland public schools.

Dr. Smith's steadfast goal has always been to provide all students, regardless of their learning needs, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, with options and choices upon graduation.

Dr. Smith's distinguished career in education began as a teacher at Hanford Secondary School in Richland, Washington. Later, he served three years as a middle and high school assistant principal for the school system and another four years as a principal, where he used his extensive experience to encourage and help teachers learn and use effective, purposeful instructional strategies. In August of 1992, Dr. Smith and his family relocated to Tokyo, Japan, where he had the privilege to serve as the principal of the Christian Academy in Higashi Kurume, Tokyo. The Christian Academy educates children from kindergarten through 12th grade, and it provides an American-style education in English. The school has an exceedingly distinct student population, with students coming from more than 25 countries across the globe.

Upon his return to the United States in 1998, Dr. Smith became a middle school principal in Calvert County, Maryland. He spent four years at the helm of a middle school, taking a one year leave of absence to facilitate the launching of a boarding school in Thailand. Dr. Smith was named director of curriculum and instruction for Calvert County Public Schools in July 2002, followed by deputy superintendent of schools the subsequent year. Calvert County Public Schools chose him as its superintendent of schools in 2006, and he served as the county's superintendent for seven successful years.

Among Dr. Smith's many illustrious awards and honors, he was named Maryland Superintendent of the Year in 2013 and he received the 2010 Change Agent Award from the Maryland State Department of Education's Division of Career and College Readiness. Dr. Smith is a member of Leadership Maryland's Class of 2011, and he has served on a variety of volunteer boards. A graduate of Eastern Washington University, with a bachelor's in English and Communications and a master's in School Administration, Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in instructional leadership from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

9. Steven Rizzi, Vice President of PAR Government, and large data system and data security expert
Steven Rizzi

Mr. Rizzi is a computer scientist who was selected by the US National Academy of Engineering as a "top 100 under 40” engineer in 1998. His primary area of concentration has been in management and analysis of large volumes of heterogeneously formatted data. In addition to his technical expertise, he is a business leader who has run technology-based profit & loss centers at SAIC and led a $1 billion strategy and planning effort for the $11 billion technology company.

10. A.J. Brooks, Congressional Relations Officer for the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Administration
AJ Books


AJ is a a Congressional Relations Officer for the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs within the Department of Veterans Administration. Prior to the Department of Veterans Affairs, AJ was a Privacy Policy Analyst in the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer (OCPO) at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the US Department of Health and Human Services. She is a recognized leader in health care policy and advises senior leadership on the impacts of privacy and security as it relates to the exchange of electronic health information.

AJ served as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Rob Portman, during the 111-112 Congress. Her portfolio included: Education (Financial Aid, Land Grant Universities, Impact Aid, and IDEA), Judiciary (Immigration, Nominations, Reentry, Drug Policy, Crime, and Humanities), Finance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and Social Issues. She is the legislative author of Public Law 112-144, The Interstate Drug Monitoring Efficiency and Data Sharing Act and Public Law 112-144, The Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act. In that role, she successfully negotiated the Reauthorization of the Second Chance Act in the Senate at over $83 million and managed a team of legislative aides, correspondents, and interns.

11. Christopher J. Biggs, Information Assurance Manager, Raytheon Company
Christopher Biggs

Mr. Biggs is an Information Assurance Manager for Raytheon Company responsible for the protection of classified information and intellectual property. His area of specialty is the certification and accreditation of information systems and the development of policies and procedures to ensure the defense of sensitive data. He has implemented information security methodologies including FISMA, FedRamp, Risk Management Framework, DIACAP, and NISPOM for private companies and government agencies including the United States House of Representatives, Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, Office of Civil Rights and Liberties and Department of Veteran Affairs. Mr. Biggs holds the Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), and Certified Authorization Professional (CAP) certifications from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium and a B.A. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Mr. Biggs is married with four children.

12. Scot Tingle, Ed.D., Assistant Principal, Snow Hill High School
Scot Tingle

Dr. Scot Tingle is currently employed as the Assistant Principal at Snow Hill High School in Worcester County Public Schools. He has been employed in Worcester County Public Schools since 2003 as a teacher, football coach and as the Assistant Principal at Worcester Technical High School and Snow Hill High School. Before coming to Worcester County Public Schools, Dr. Tingle was a teacher and football coach in Somerset County Public Schools in Maryland and Seaford, Delaware.

Dr. Tingle earned his doctoral degree in Education Leadership and Innovation from Wilmington University in 2014. Dr. Tingle also received his B.S. in Accounting, B.A. in Secondary Education as well as his M.A. in Education Administration from Salisbury University. Dr. Tingle also received his National Boards for Professional Teaching Standards teaching certification in 2009.

Dr. Tingle also served six years in the United States Navy submarine force.

Dr. Tingle and his wife, Allison, live in Ocean City, Maryland with their two cats. In his spare time, Dr. Tingle is an avid pilot and loves fishing and golf.

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Governing Board Meeting Schedule

Pursuant to the Governing Board’s bylaws, the Board meets quarterly on the second Friday in March, June, September and December. The 2019 meeting schedule is as follows:

  • March 4, 2019
  • June 14, 2019
  • September 13, 2019
  • December 13, 2019

*To accommodate the legislative meeting schedule, the Governing Board changed the meeting date from Friday March 8th to Monday, March 4th.

The Governing Board meets at 9 a.m. in the State Board of Education Conference Room in the Nancy S. Grasmick Building, 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.

Notification of changes to the meeting date, time or location will be provided on this website.

Bylaws of the MLDS Governing Board

These bylaws, adopted by the members of the Governing Board, provide the rules of governance for the board during the conduct of all duties assigned under State law.