Services for Gaila Lynn Pryor, assistant secretary for finance at the Maryland Department of Transportation, will be held at noon Monday at the J. B. Jenkins Funeral Home in Landover.
Ms. Pryor died of cancer Thursday at the Washington Hospital Center. She was 38.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer said Ms. Pryor played a vital role in the Transportation Department's operation and mourned the loss of a "valued employee and friend."
A native of Washington who lived in Bowie, Ms. Pryor graduated from Howard University. She began her career with the state in 1974 as a budget analyst with the Department of Fiscal Services, the legislative support agency for the Maryland General Assembly. She advised the legislature on budget issues involving education, transportation and economic and community development.
"Gaila has always been honest and fair," said House Speaker R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., who worked with Ms. Pryor for many years. "She will be greatly missed."
In 1983, she joined the Department of Transportation as director for budget management. In that position, she coordinated the operating budgets of the department's agencies, including the State Highway Administration, the Mass Transit Administration, the Port Administration, the Aviation Administration, the Railroad Administration, the Motor Vehicle Administration and the Transportation Authority.
She was promoted to assistant secretary in 1986. In that job, she was responsible for developing the department's $1.5 billion budget and managed the sale of transportation revenue bonds for capital projects throughout the state.
Ms. Pryor played a key role in developing the creative financing mechanisms used to fund the National Freeway in Western Maryland, major bridge contracts on the Eastern Shore, improvements to Interstate 270 and the Central Maryland light-rail project. She also was a financial consultant to the Maryland Transportation Authority, which oversees the state's toll facilities.
Ms. Pryor was a member of the National Association of State Budget Officers, the Maryland Public Finance Officer's Association and the National Government Finance Officer's Association. In August, she was a keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Government Finance Officer's Association in Chicago.
Ms. Pryor is survived by her mother, Ernestine Pryor of Lake Worth, Fla.; a brother, Robert Pryor Jr. of Capitol Heights; three nieces; and one nephew.
Because of Ms. Pryor's interest in education, a scholarship fund will be established in her memory at Howard University. The scholarship will be for black women with an interest in business and finance.