County Executive Robert R. Neall announced Friday that paramedic Matthew Thomas is the first recipient of the Anne Arundel County Executive Fellowship.
In a program designed to identify minority candidates for management jobs, Mr. Thomas of Annapolis, 41, will spend the next six months learning about the operation of local government.
"As the county grows, the need for competent managers in government will increase," Mr. Neall said in a prepared statement. "I believe Matt Thomas is among those who have exceptional potential."
Mr. Thomas, who temporarily transferred from the fire department to Mr. Neall's office, has been an emergency medical technician since 1983. A former chairman of the Black Political Forum, he also has worked as a legislative aide in the General Assembly and substitute teacher.
Since his transfer July 27, Mr. Thomas has helped the county establish an office for compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. He also will work with Myron Wotring, the county's liaison to the State House, and the personnel office.
Before he returns to the fire department, Mr. Thomas will help recruit and select the next fellowship recipient, a spokeswoman for Mr. Neall's office said.
Candidates must have a bachelor's degree, have been a county employee for more than three years and display leadership ability.
"I see this taking me into a management position in county government," Mr. Thomas said. "That has always been my goal."