Governor Parris Glendening has had three successful careers, as an elected official for over three decades, a distinguished college teacher and an advocate for the environment, education, health issues and transit. During the fifty plus years of public service he has led many local, state and national organizations, worked closely with elected and non-elected public officials, the advocacy community and both business and labor.
Glendening was an elected public official for more than 30 years. Starting as a city council member in the small town of Hyattsville (18,000 pop.), he moved to leadership of one of the largest and most diverse jurisdictions in the Washington Metropolitan Area, Prince George’s County (750,000 pop.) Serving 8 years on the County Council, including as Chair of the Council, he was elected County Executive in 1982. Re-elected twice, he was the first Marylander to serve 3 terms as a county executive.
In 1994 Glendening was elected for two terms as Governor. Under Glendening’s leadership Maryland received national acclaim for its unprecedented support for educational excellence, diversity and inclusiveness and most notably, for progressive environmental policies and programs. He created the nation’s first state-wide, incentive driven smart growth program for which he received Harvard’s Innovation in Government Award and was named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine.
Glendening served as the head of many national associations, including National Council of Elected County Executives, Democratic Governors Association, National Governors Association and Council of State Governments. He continues to work with many of these organizations.
For the last twenty years Glendening as the President of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute has been a major environmental advocate for smart growth, sustainability, alternate energy, transit and fighting climate change. Governor Glendening continues to speak across the country and internationally on many of these issues.