Biography of Governor Martin O'Malley
Martin O’Malley is serving the people of Maryland in his second term as Governor. Since 2007, his Administration has been delivering results for Maryland families by choosing to do the things that work to create jobs, expand opportunity, and make Maryland a safer, healthier place.
A former Governing Magazine “Public Official of the Year,” Governor O’Malley was re-elected in 2010. His 2013 legislative successes were described in a Baltimore Sun editorial as “without many parallels in recent Maryland history.”
With a balanced approach of spending cuts, regulatory reform, and modern investment in education, innovation, and infrastructure, Governor O’Malley and his Administration are making better choices that are delivering better results, including:
- The fastest rate of job growth in the region.
- The #1 ranking for best public schools in America for an unprecedented five years in a row. (Education Week)
- The #1 ranking for holding down the cost of college tuition. (College Board)
- The #1 ranking for innovation and entrepreneurship for two years running. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Under the Governor’s leadership, Maryland ranks #1 nationally in median income, #1 in PHD scientists and researchers per capita, #1 in Research and Development, and #1 in businesses owned by women. The Milken Institute ranks Maryland as one of the top 2 states in America for science and technology.
Maryland is one of only a handful of states to earn an AAA Bond Rating, certified by all three major rating agencies.
Called “arguably the best manager in government” by Washington Monthly magazine,
Governor O’Malley has cut more state spending than any previous Governor in Maryland’s history, balancing these record cuts with targeted, modern investments in priorities like public education. He has reduced the size of government to its smallest size since 1973 (on a per capita basis) and reformed the way it is managed, to make it work more efficiently and accountably. His actions to save Maryland’s state pension system have made it sustainable over the long term. His fiscal stewardship has nearly eliminated Maryland’s structural deficit. His efforts to streamline, consolidate and digitize things like business licensing are making Maryland a better place to do business.
Governor O’Malley’s StateStat initiative – modeled after the CitiStat initiative he created in the City of Baltimore – is widely cited as a model for government efficiency and effectiveness.
Teaming with the men and women of Maryland law enforcement, the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s crime fighting initiatives have driven down violent crime and homicide to three decade lows. The Administration’s homeland security strategies have turned around security at the Port of Baltimore.
The O’Malley-Brown Administration has expanded health care to more than 380,000 previously uninsured Marylanders. It has driven down infant mortality to an historic low and provided meals to thousands of hungry children as it moves forward toward its goal for eradicating childhood hunger.
The Governor’s policies have been credited with restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay and saving the Bay’s native Blue Crab and Oyster populations.
The O’Malley Administration has secured millions of dollars in rate relief for Maryland energy consumers while jumpstarting the creation of thousands of green energy sector jobs. Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland led the charge for RGGI, the nation’s first cap-and-trade auction of greenhouse emissions.
Governor O’Malley has cut income taxes for 86% of Marylanders and reformed Maryland’s tax code to make it more progressive. In addition, he has signed the nation’s first statewide living wage law, along with some of the nation’s most comprehensive reforms to protect homeowners from foreclosure.
Declaring that Marylanders are bound together by “the common thread of human dignity,” Governor O’Malley has signed legislation to protect individual civil marriage rights and religious freedom, along with legislation to protect voting rights. He signed – and successfully defended at the ballot box – the DREAM Act, which expands the opportunity of a college education to more Marylanders.
Prior to serving as Governor, O’Malley served as Mayor of the City of Baltimore, where he was recognized by Esquire magazine as “the best young mayor in the country” and by Time magazine as one of America’s “Top 5 Big City Mayors.” First elected in 1999, he was re-elected in
2003, receiving 87 percent of the vote. Between 1999 and 2009 his policies helped the people of Baltimore achieve the greatest crime reduction of America’s largest cities.
Governor O’Malley received his bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Maryland. In 1986, while in law school, he was named by then-Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski as state field director for her successful primary and general election campaigns for the U.S. Senate. From 1987 to 1988 he served as a legislative fellow for Senator Mikulski, where he focused on obtaining federal funding for projects in Maryland. In 1988, O’Malley was appointed assistant state’s attorney for the city of Baltimore. He served on the Baltimore City Council from 1991 to 1999, during which time he was chairman of the Legislative Investigations and Taxation and Finance Committees.
Governor O’Malley served two terms as Chair of the Democratic Governors Association. He currently serves as the organization’s Finance Chair. In addition, he serves as Co-Chair for the National Governors Association Special Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety. He was appointed to the nation’s first-ever Council of Governors by President Obama in 2010 and was named co-chair of the council in 2013.
Martin and his wife, Katie, a District Court judge, have two daughters, Grace and Tara, and two sons, William and Jack. They are members of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.