Horacio Tablada and Marcus Wang, nominees for directors of Baltimore County's environmental and economic development departments. Photos via Maryland Department of the Environment and LinkedIn.
Horacio Tablada and Marcus Wang, nominees for directors of Baltimore County's environmental and economic development departments. Photos via Maryland Department of the Environment and LinkedIn.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski has nominated two new directors for the county’s environmental and economic development departments.

Horacio Tablada, former secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, has been nominated to serve as the director of the county’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability. Marcus L. Wang, CEO and co-founder of ZytoGen Global Genetics Institute, has been nominated for the role of director of the county’s Department of Economic and Workforce Development.

A majority of the members of the Baltimore County Council must confirm the nominations.

If confirmed, Tablada and Wang will make history as the first Hispanic-American and Asian-American, respectively, to lead a Baltimore County department, according to a news release.

They are slated to begin in their new roles July 31.

Hailing from Nicaragua, Tablada most recently led Maryland’s environmental department under Gov. Larry Hogan. He has more than three decades of environmental leadership experience in Maryland, including as the director of the Maryland Department of the Environment’s Land Management Administration, where he oversaw brownfield redevelopment of former industrial sites, recycling and waste diversion, lead paint poisoning prevention, and other areas. Tablada also spearheaded the environmental redevelopment of the former Sparrows Point steel mill site.

“Mr. Tablada’s experience in environmental leadership along with his demonstrated commitment to public health and ecological stewardship make him the right person to lead the department at this critical time,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said in a statement. “I look forward to our work together as we continue to tackle the effects of climate change and further strengthen environmental resiliency, keeping Baltimore County healthy and thriving for our future generations.”

Tablada earned a bachelor’s degree in biological agricultural engineering from North Carolina State University, a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland, and a Master of Divinity from Capital Seminary and Graduate School.

He would succeed the county’s current environmental director, David Lykens, who will be retiring from Baltimore County government after more than 35 years of service, including as the department’s director since December 2018.

“It has been an honor to serve the residents of Baltimore County for more than 30 years and I am incredibly proud of all our efforts to promote cleaner, more sustainable communities,” Lykens said in a statement. “I thank County Executive Olszewski for this opportunity and have the fullest confidence that our hardworking team will continue to effectively serve our residents for years to come.”

During Lykens’ time as director, the department launched its Operation ReTree initiative to expand tree canopies in older high-density, lower-income neighborhoods. The department also worked with the state of Maryland to address the Back River’s nuisance midge population.

“Dave has been an invaluable member of our team to help build a better Baltimore County,” Olszewski said in a statement. “On behalf of the people of Baltimore County, I extend my gratitude for his decades of dedicated service and I wish him and his entire family the best in his well-deserved retirement from County service.”

A Baltimore native, Wang is the CEO and co-founder of the ZytoGen Global Genetics Institute, which provides genetic screening and sequencing services.

Wang would take over as the county’s economic and workforce development director as the department’s acting director, Dr. Jennifer Lynch, will return to her position as the county’s Senior Policy Advisor for Education and Workforce.

“I am honored to be called to public service and to join this great team,” Wang said in a statement. “I want to thank the County Executive for his leadership and his trust, and I pledge to always be a strong advocate for the residents, workers, and businesses of our great County.”

Wang has been part of the leadership of companies in a variety of sectors, including biotech, genomics, retail, and e-commerce. He also practiced corporate law for DLA Piper in Manhattan, and led the development, execution, and launch of Under Armour in the Chinese market.

Wang has chaired the Baltimore County Economic Development Advisory Board since 2020. He also serves as a commissioner on the Maryland Health Care Commissioner.

“Mr. Wang’s knowledge of the breadth of economic opportunities and assets that Baltimore County has to offer, coupled with our shared priority of attracting new businesses, developing strategic partnerships, and creating and retaining high-quality jobs for our residents, make him a natural fit for this position,” said Olszewski. “I am confident that with his leadership and advocacy, we will continue building a better Baltimore County for our most important asset: our people.”

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...