After serving several years as Baltimore County’s transportation czar, D’Andrea Walker is set take over the county’s highest appointed office.

County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. announced Tuesday that he will appoint Walker, his former director of public works and transportation, to become the next Baltimore County Administrative Officer. The administrative officer typically manages day-to-day operations in the county such as hiring of staff and implementing the budget. As Olszewski’s surrogate, she is expected to act as the first-line public face of the county.

Walker will succeed Stacy Rodgers, who is retiring next month after a career of more than 30 years in federal, state and local government agencies.

Walker, a Morgan State graduate, has worked in some government capacity since 2006 when she became the deputy administrator of operations for the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration. According to her LinkedIn profile, she also worked as deputy secretary at the Maryland Department of General Services, administrator for the Maryland Transit Administration, and associate director for Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation, before working for Baltimore County.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

She was hired to be its deputy director for transportation in February 2020, before becoming acting director of the Department of Public Works and Transportation in November of that year. She held the interim title for more than two years before being officially named director in February 2023, becoming the first African American woman to hold the job.

High turnover marked her time as acting director of the department. An article in the Baltimore Brew referred to the spate of resignations and retirements as a “mass exodus,” reportedly driven by a lack of faith in her experience for the job, which at that time had to be filled by a licensed professional engineer, according to the county charter. Walker was not an engineer. She earned her BA in business administration in 1994, and an MBA in 2000, also from Morgan State.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

In 2022, as a workaround to the engineers-only requirement, the Baltimore County Council amended its charter, according to the Brew, adding an alternative qualification for the post: at least 10 years of supervisory experience in infrastructure planning and construction or transportation engineering and management. That amendment paved the way for Walker’s permanent appointment a year ago.

“D’Andrea is a forward-thinking leader and a vital member of our administration whose innovative efforts have consistently improved County operations — and delivered for those we serve,” Olszewski said in a statement. “She leads by example and shares our vision to deliver equitable, efficient and accessible services for every resident.”

Walker currently leads a department of about 1,000 employees and a budget of about $500 million. During her tenure, the department launched the Towson Loop, the county’s first free transit service.

“This opportunity is humbling and I could not be more excited to build on the incredible legacy of Stacy L. Rodgers who I am proud to call a friend and mentor,” Walker said in a statement. “For nearly three decades, I have been a proud public servant and I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Baltimore County in this new role for years to come.”

Walker’s appointment is subject to council approval and is expected to be reviewed April 15.

Hugo Kugiya is a reporter for the Express Desk and has formerly reported for the Associated Press, Newsday, and the Seattle Times.

More From The Banner