BALTIMORE, MD. — Gov. Larry Hogan has appointed Bel Air resident and transportation veteran David M. Richardson to the Maryland Port Commission (MPC). Mr. Richardson replaces Ms. Peta Richkus who stepped down from the MPC in December. The six-member port commission establishes policies toward improving the competitive position of the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore within the international maritime industry.
“David brings a strong maritime and economic development background to the Port Commission,” said Governor Hogan. “I am committed to restoring Maryland’s economic competitiveness and David will play an important role in our efforts to grow business and build on the Port’s record-setting 2014.”
Mr. Richardson is currently the director of governmental affairs for Southwest Airlines. In this position, he serves as Southwest’s chief advocate and principal liaison on Capitol Hill, as well as a senior attorney before several federal government agencies. He has represented Southwest in Washington, D.C., since 2006. Mr. Richardson also serves on the Board of Directors of the BWI Business Partnership.
“I have a tremendous appreciation for the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and what it means to the economic vitality of the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland,” said Mr. Richardson. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Port Commission and assisting the Port Administration in building upon the successes they have achieved in recent years."
Prior to joining Southwest, Mr. Richardson was chief of staff at the Maryland Aviation Administration, which owns and operates Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and an attorney at Venable, LLP, in Baltimore. His previous positions in public service include working for then-Governor Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey and then-Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley of Maryland. Upon Mrs. Bentley’s retirement from Congress in 1995, David was her principal aide for matters related to the commercial maritime industry, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Port of Baltimore. He has focused on transportation and economic development matters for nearly 25 years.
David has an undergraduate degree from American University, a master’s degree from The George Washington University and a law degree from The Catholic University of America. Mr. Richardson lives in the Bel Air area of Harford County with his wife and three children.
Combining both the public and private marine terminals, the Port of Baltimore had a record year in 2014 and saw 29.5 million tons of international cargo valued at approximately $52.5 billion cross its docks last year. Baltimore is ranked as the top port among all U.S. ports for handling autos and light trucks, farm and construction machinery, imported forest products, imported sugar, and imported aluminum. Overall Baltimore is ranked ninth for the total dollar value of cargo and 13th for cargo tonnage for all U.S. ports.
Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 14,630 direct jobs, while about 108,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to port activities. The Port is responsible for $3 billion in personal wages and salary and more than $300 million in state and local taxes.