Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published February 17, 2011


Former Maryland Congressman to Represent Montgomery County

ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 17, 2011) – Governor Martin O'Malley announced today that he will nominate former Maryland Congressman Michael D. Barnes to serve on the Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (WMATA). Mr. Barnes will represent Montgomery County and will fill the seat of Peter Benjamin, who has completed his term.

“Mike Barnes brings a wealth of public and private sector experience to the WMATA board as the organization transitions to a new form of governance, the leadership of a new General Manager and the addition of new board members from our neighboring jurisdictions,” said Governor O'Malley. “He has witnessed the evolution of Metro since its earliest days and was a strong supporter of WMATA during his time in Congress. He understands Metro's past and has a clear vision of where the organization needs to go in the future regarding the key issues of safety, customer service and the maintenance of the system.”

Mr. Barnes is currently a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C. From 1978 through 1987, he was a member of Congress representing Maryland's 8th Congressional district. While in Congress, Mr. Barnes chaired the Metropolitan Affairs Subcommittee of the House District of Columbia Committee, which oversaw issues involving WMATA. Prior to his tenure in Congress, he served as Vice Chairman of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission and served on the Maryland Public Service Commission.

Since leaving Congress, Mr. Barnes has practiced law and been active in the public policy arena. He has served on the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board, as well as on the boards of several private sector organizations including his service as Lead Director and Chair of the Governance Committee of WGL Holdings, Inc and its subsidiary, Washington Gas Light Company. Washington Gas Light Company provides natural gas and electricity service to more than 1,000,000 customers in Maryland, Virginia and the District.

Mr. Barnes and his wife, Joan Pollitt, reside in Chevy Chase. His nomination to the WMATA Board must be approved by the Maryland Senate. Mr. Barnes will assume the seat on the WMATA Board currently held by Peter Benjamin. Mr. Benjamin recently completed a one-year term as Chairman of the Board.

“During his year as Chairman, Peter successfully guided the WMATA Board through one of the most challenging times in the history of the Metro system,” added Governor O'Malley. “With the hiring of a new General Manager and a renewed emphasis on safety, Peter can be proud of his accomplishments. I thank him for his years of service to Metro and its customers.”