(BALTIMORE, MD) --- Maryland Port Administration (MPA) Commissioner Peta N. Richkus has been appointed to a four-year term as a member of the Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee on Trade by the Office the United States Trade Representative. The 29-member committee is comprised of public and private sector professionals from across the country. The committee’s duties include advising, consulting with, and making recommendations to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and relevant Cabinet or sub-Cabinet officials concerning trade matters.
“This is another outstanding opportunity for an accomplished Maryland professional to display her talents and expertise for our great country,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “With her very diverse background, Peta Richkus will undoubtedly become a very valued member of this prestigious committee.”
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative negotiates directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements, resolve disputes, and participates in global trade policy organizations. The Office was created in 1962 within the Executive Office of the President and is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries.
Appointed to the Maryland Port Commission by Governor O’Malley in 2008, Ms. Richkus helps to establish policies directed toward improving the competitive position of the Port of Baltimore within the international maritime industry.
From 1999 to 2003, Ms. Richkus served as secretary of the Maryland Department of General Services. As the State’s landlord, procurement officer and real estate agent, she was responsible for 725 employees, an $81.5 million operating budget, a $430 million capital budget, and statewide procurement responsibilities for the goods and services of more than $800 million annually. Under the leadership of Ms. Richkus, DGS achieved national recognition in the areas of technology, innovation, and effectiveness in government. Some of those awards included: the National Federation of the Blind - Accessibility Leadership Award; Congress for the New Urbanism - Award of Excellence, 2002; eGov Government Solutions Center-Pioneer Award (eMarylandMarketplace, the State’s electronic procurement portal); and the Design/Build Institute of America - Best Public Project over $15 million.
Port Commissioner Named to U.S. Committee on Trade
Prior to appointment as DGS Secretary, Ms. Richkus had a successful 20-plus year career in the private sector, most recently as senior vice president of Buchart-Horn, Inc., an international planning, design and construction management firm. Since leaving State government in 2003, Ms. Richkus has taught government and business courses at the University of Baltimore and Towson University. She has also consulted with private firms and non-profit organizations in areas of management, marketing and strategic planning.
Ms. Richkus is an honors graduate from the University of Rhode Island. She received her MBA Summa cum Laude from the University of Baltimore. Ms. Richkus is also a graduate of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
The Port of Baltimore generates about 16,700 direct jobs. Out of about 360 U.S. ports, Baltimore is ranked number one for handling roll on/roll off cargo; trucks; imported forest products; and imported gypsum, sugar and iron ore. The Port is responsible for about $3.7 billion in personal wage and salary income. Activities at the Port of Baltimore generate nearly $400 million in state and local taxes.