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Governor O’Malley Announces the Appointment of Catherine Shultz as Acting Secretary of Higher Ed

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor O’Malley today announced that he will appoint Catherine McCullough Shultz as acting secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Shultz will take over the agency from Dr. Danette Howard, who has served since 2011.

“Sec. Howard has been an invaluable leader for the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Under her leadership, Maryland has simultaneously improved the quality of our colleges and universities, and fought to hold down tuition,” said Governor O’Malley. “In fact, since 2007-08, no state has done more than Maryland to hold down the cost of college. We are very excited to have Catherine’s experience and expertise as we continue to promote academic excellence and career readiness for students in Maryland higher education institutions.”

Maryland’s Higher Education Commission Chair Anwer Hasan added, “On behalf of my colleagues on the Commission and all of the students in Maryland, I’d like to congratulate Danette on this wonderful opportunity with the Lumina Foundation and wish her much success. From working to increase the number of STEM students in our State to implementing strategies to expand the college to career readiness pipeline, Dr. Howard has been an incredible asset in strengthening our higher education system here in Maryland. We look forward to working with Ms. Shultz to build on this progress.”

Catherine Shultz has devoted her entire career to public service. She is the Principal Counsel in the Office of Attorney General at the Maryland Higher Education Commission, where she has served for the last seven years. As lead counsel for the commission, Shultz advises senior staff on legal issues and has represented the department in litigation.

Prior to joining the Maryland Higher Education Commission, Shultz was a member of the legal team at the Department of Human Resources for 18 years. While there, she chaired the Human Resources Practice Group, a coordinating body made up of attorneys for state agencies including Juvenile Services, Health and Mental Hygiene, Aging, and Education. She also served as lead counsel in L.J. v. Massinga, involving Baltimore City’s foster care system, during its consent decree phase.

Shultz has also been recognized for her work as counsel throughout her career, including awards from Attorneys General over the last 30 years including the Exceptional Service Award in 1984 and in 2001, and Exceptional Leadership award in 2011.

Catherine Shultz graduated cum laude from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in 1971 and received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1980. Prior to attending law school, she was a guidance counselor and teacher.

Ms. Shultz lives in Annapolis.  She is married and has two grown children.  She has been active in community affairs, including an organization that provides grants to build community leadership capacity through environmental projects.

Dr. Danette Howard will join the Lumina Foundation as Vice President for Policy and Mobilization where she will oversee several of Lumina’s strategies critical to increasing high-quality postsecondary education attainment as well as the Foundation’s growing national role in developing higher education policy. Currently a Maryland resident, Dr. Howard will relocate to Indianapolis, Ind. with her husband William II, and their son, William III.