Lobbyist for city is named

O'Malley taps official with NAACP to job

November 24, 1999|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Filling another key post in his administration, Mayor-elect Martin O'Malley has tapped NAACP executive Jeanne D. Hitchcock to be Baltimore's chief lobbyist in Annapolis and on Capitol Hill.

Hitchcock will leave her post as chief operating officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to become head of intergovernmental relations for the O'Malley administration. An attorney, she is also a former executive with the Southland Corp., owner of 7-Eleven.

O'Malley said he hasn't determined what Hitchcock's title will be, but said that she will part of his inner circle when he takes office Dec. 7.

"I'm really lucky to have her," he said. "She will be part of a small group of people I will be relying on on a daily basis."

Hitchcock's is the third appointment O'Malley has made since being elected Nov. 2 to replace Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. O'Malley said two weeks ago that he would retain M. J. "Jay" Brodie as executive director of the Baltimore Development Corp., and Jesse Hoskins as the city's personnel director.

A Baltimore native, Hitchcock, 53, will be responsible for the city's legislative agenda before the General Assembly and Congress. Political observers said she's well-suited for the post because she's a Baltimorean and was a lobbyist in Annapolis in the 1980s for the state attorney general's office, where she she worked as an assistant attorney general.

"I love the city," Hitchcock said. "I was born here. All of my education has been here. I feel I have a personal interest in the city."

Hitchcock, a mother of two and grandmother of three, is a graduate of Morgan State University and the University of Maryland School of Law. She worked for the attorney general's office for eight years. In 1987, she became a managing partner in the Baltimore-based law firm of Fugett and Hitchcock.

In 1989, she joined the Southland Corp. as director of Urban Market Development; she left for the NAACP job in 1996.

"They are lucky to have her," said John White, spokesman for the NAACP. "We all enjoyed working for her."

Kevin O'Keeffe, the city's current lobbyist in Annapolis, said he will take a job with County Executive Janet S. Owens as lobbyist for Anne Arundel County. He had been a lobbyist for the city for eight years; for two of those years, he was also director of state relations for the city.

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