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Maryland names new head of MVA

Milton Chaffee, a chief deputy administrator and 12-year employee at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, has been named the agency's new top official.

The MVA manages more than 10 million driver and vehicle records, maintains vehicle inspection stations, and controls licensing and registration in the state.

James Smith, the state's transportation secretary, made the announcement Monday. He also named Christine Nizer, an 8-year employee with the MVA, as Chaffee's successor as chief deputy administrator.

"Milton and Christine both have the knowledge, experience and leadership skills to continue MVA's transformative efforts to improve customer service, expand the use of technology and enhance highway safety," Smith said in a statement.

The appointments are effective March 1. They come after current MVA head John Kuo's announcement that he will be leaving the agency for a job at the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Smith said it was Kuo's work to "develop a great executive leadership team" at the MVA that made it possible for the agency to fill his position from within.

Chaffee will also serve as Gov. Martin O'Malley's highway safety representative.

In a statement, he said it was "an honor to take over the reins of such an impressive, progressive and well-run agency," saying the state's MVA has "long been regarded as one of the best in the country."

Chaffee holds a bachelor's degree in consumer science and home economics from Miami University in Ohio, and spent 27 years in private industry before joining the MVA.

Nizer holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Goucher College and a master's degree in public policy from Rutgers University.

krector@baltsun.com

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