Dominick Murray Appointment
Governor Martin O’Malley announced Dominick Murray as Maryland’s Secretary of Business & Economic Development (DBED), following the decision by current Secretary Christian S. Johansson to leave public service to join Maryland-based Laureate Education to head a new group focused on university partnerships in the U.S. Succeeding Murray as Deputy Secretary will be Robert Walker, who previously served as the Department’s Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Secretary for Business and Enterprise Development, as well as Maryland’s Secretary of Agriculture. The changes will be effective mid-January.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Dominick’s knowledge and extensive background in economic development take the helm at DBED. Maryland is recovering jobs at the 7th fastest rate in the nation and we have great confidence that Dominick will continue that progress,” said Governor O’Malley. “I want to thank Christian for his work in creating an economic development strategy centered on creating jobs not just for today, but creating jobs for generations to come. Under Christian’s leadership, we put in place a number of key programs to put Maryland at the forefront of entrepreneurship and innovation, including the largest venture capital program in State history – InvestMaryland. I could not have asked for a more engaged or visionary person to help me move Maryland’s economy forward and I wish him well in his new endeavors.”
Murray has served as DBED’s Deputy Secretary since 2007, and has been an integral part of Governor O’Malley’s business development and job growth team for more than 10 years, leading Baltimore City’s economic development efforts during the Governor’s tenure as Mayor of Baltimore. In that role, Murray streamlined the City’s development and permitting processes, facilitated inter-agency communication on development issues and acted as a business community ombudsman for the Mayor’s office.
His advocacy for Maryland’s businesses continued during his tenure at DBED, where he has led the agency’s regional development team and offered critical assistance to Maryland’s local economic development offices and businesses. Murray also designed and implemented DBED’s participation in the Governor’s Delivery Unit, which works with agencies to help them align state and federal resources around 15 strategic and visionary goals the Governor has outlined to improve the quality of life in Maryland. He has served on critical technology and business development boards, including the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Technology Council, the Maryland Aviation Administration board, the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission and the Governor’s Workforce Investment board.
A Michigan native who earned a BA from the University of Detroit, Murray also brings to the position significant private sector experience and perspective, after working in sales and marketing and senior management at large corporations like Chrysler, Westinghouse, GE Capital and CBS Radio, as well as in small companies like O/E Mid-Atlantic, G1440 and ARIS Corp. His public service also includes serving on the boards of the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center and the UMBC Cooperative Education Office.
Johansson, who joined DBED at the height of the economic downturn in 2009, developed a number of successful initiatives to spur the State’s innovation economy, connect small businesses with credit and build on core industries like life sciences and cyber security.
Among many accomplishments, Johansson worked with the Governor’s office to develop InvestMaryland, which has $84 million raised through an online tax credit auction to invest in the State’s early stage companies. While other states have similar programs, InvestMaryland is unique in that if investments are successful, 100 percent of the principal and 80 percent of the profits are returned to the State’s general fund. To date, nearly $2 million has been deployed through the program since making its first investment in September. Earlier this year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce cited InvestMaryland and other programs focused on innovation as the key reason they ranked Maryland #1 in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Johansson was also instrumental in helping to pass the Maryland Innovation Initiative, which is a first-ever partnership between the State and five qualifying universities to advance cutting-edge research to the commercial marketplace and foster collaboration between the universities and federal laboratories.
To address the credit crunch, Johansson worked with the Governor’s office and federal partners to craft the State Small Business Credit Initiative, part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Under the program, Maryland and 33 other states and U.S. territories received federal funds to provide state-backed loan guarantees to small businesses that were unable to access traditional bank financing. To date, the program has helped create 887 jobs and leverage more than $74 million in private sector loans and investments.
In addition, he also advocated for streamlining regulations for Maryland businesses through the State’s Maryland Made Easy program; worked to bring businesses to the table through the creation and revitalization of a number of boards and commissions, including the Maryland Economic Development Commission and the Maryland Advisory Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness; and he oversaw two successful economic development missions to China, South Korea, Vietnam and India, which netted a total of $145 million in trade and investment deals for the State.