Mayor Brandon Scott will tap Faith Leach, currently the deputy mayor of equity, health and human services, to serve as city administrator.

Leach, who is already a trusted aide to Scott, confirmed the plan in an interview. She will officially become one of his top advisors and expand her portfolio of management to include most city agencies, including the departments of fire, finance and public works.

She is best known to Baltimoreans as one of the chief architects of Scott’s squeegee collaborative plan, which has banned squeegee youth from interacting with motorists at six of the city’s busiest intersections. She also developed the city’s guaranteed income pilot, which gives 200 young parents $1,000 monthly cash payments.

“If I could choose my title, it would be chief delivery officer, because this is about delivering for the residents of the city,” she told The Baltimore Banner.

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Leach joined City Hall in the spring of 2021, after working in New York City as chief of staff at the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. She previously worked for the city of Washington, D.C., as chief of staff to the deputy mayor of economic opportunity and as a special projects manager in the office of the city administrator.

“Faith has proven herself to be a transformational leader and I look forward to seeing her excel in this new role so that we can continue to advance our work to improve city services, promote equity throughout city government, and enhance the wellbeing of our residents,” Scott said in a statement.

Shelonda Stokes, the CEO of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, said in a statement that Leach strikes a balance of addressing the inequities and presenting solutions that benefit the business community.

“The lens in which she operates is thoughtful and holistic,” Stokes said.

Leach was born in New York and spent most of her life in North Carolina. Throughout her career, Leach has advocated for children with incarcerated parents and formerly incarcerated women, drawing on personal experience. Both of Leach’s parents served prison sentences during her childhood.

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Leach must be confirmed by the Baltimore City Council before she steps into the role. She said she expects the administration to officially put her name before the council next week.

The council is expected to confirm Leach, which would end a monthslong search for former City Administrator Christopher Shorter’s replacement.

Shorter was hired by Scott in December 2020 to improve city agencies’ performance and abilities to serve residents, a charge he likened to transformation work. His announcement in the fall of last year that he would depart for a new job in Northern Virginia after less than two years in City Hall was a stand-out in an administration marked by high-profile exits.

The role is a signature of the Scott administration: Shorter was Baltimore’s first ever city administrator. As City Council president, Scott created a charter amendment that mandated City Hall to have a city administrator. Voters overwhelmingly passed the measure in 2020, when they elected Scott as mayor.

Shorter was paid $255,000 in the budget year ending June 30, 2021. Leach was paid $193,800 the same year.

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Leach said she had lengthy conversations with the mayor to ensure that she was the right person to replace Shorter. Residents can hold her accountable by the quantitative and qualitative impact she has on the city.

“Is my pothole being fixed after I put it into a 311 request? Does my city look and feel vibrant? Those are all the things that residents can measure me on,” she said.