Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich Nominates Jon Monger as Director of the Department of Environmental Protection and Dr. James Bridgers as Director of the Department of Health and Human Services

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today announced the nomination of Jon Monger to lead the County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Dr. James Bridgers to lead the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The County Council is scheduled to vote on both nominees on Tuesday, June 20.

County Executive Elrich’s nominee to head DEP, Jon Monger, currently serves as the Assistant Deputy Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, where he oversees agency policy, management, and operational priorities. Mr. Monger has dedicated his career to addressing environmental issues, including serving as Counsel to a presidential commission formed to investigate the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, EPA’s White House Liaison under President Barack Obama, policy advisor in EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, and Oversight Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. Jon received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and graduated magna cum laude from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law. During law school, he clerked for the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and the Honorable James J. Brady of the Middle District of Louisiana.

“I am pleased to welcome Jon to our team; he has the experience and energy we need to carry out our Climate Action Plan, which is one of the most aggressive in the nation,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “In fact, our previous DEP Director and Acting Director were lured away from our county to the federal government after helping us advance our environmental goals, and now Jon is coming to us from the national leadership of EPA, eager to further the work of Montgomery County being a national leader on climate change and environmental policy. I look forward to working with Jon as we continue to be an environmental leader in Maryland, the Washington Metropolitan Region and the nation, and I urge the County Council to confirm his nomination.”

Dr. Bridgers, who is the County Executive’s nominee for Director of DHHS, is currently serving as the department’s acting director. He also served as the acting chief of Public Health Services and as health officer and played a primary role in the County’s fight against COVID-19 over the last 3 years. He has more than 25 years of experience in program administration, development, and implementation in various public health, social science, compliance measures, and fiscal arenas. He has managed projects for each of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) three centers – Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and Center for Mental Health Services. Dr. Bridgers also has led programs for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Defense, Program Analysis and Evaluation Directorate (PAED). Dr. Bridgers is a service-disabled retired Command Sergeant Major (CSM) in the United States Army Reserve (USAR) and has 30 years of combined USAR and active-duty service member experience. Dr. Bridgers earned his B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Health Education from Howard University in Washington, D.C., his MBA and MA in Theology from Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla., and his Ph.D. in Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health.

“Dr. Bridgers has been a tremendous help to us since he joined the County five years ago, and during the pandemic, he stepped up to each new challenge with skill and dedication,” said County Executive Elrich. “He understands and is committed to ensuring that all our communities are served equitably. He has been on the frontline and knows what we need to do to improve our health outcomes across our diverse population. I urge the County Council to confirm his nomination so he can continue his work at DHHS.”

Both candidates will have their confirmation hearings before the County Council on Tuesday, June 20, and will assume their new roles upon confirmation.


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