Sherrie Johnson, a television news reporter, has been hired to service as public information officer for the county government, Harford County Executive David R. Craig announced Monday.
Johnson will serve as the primary contact for media inquiries and will become the main spokesperson for Harford County government, according to a news release announcing her appointment. Her first day with Harford County Government will be July 22.
According to the news release, Johnson will work with the county executive's governmental and community relations team "to enhance the county's outreach efforts to citizens, through both traditional media outlets and through the use of social media."
Johnson, 41, replaces Bob Thomas, the government's chief spokesman for the past six years, who last month transferred to a similar post with the Department of Emergency Services. Johnson's salary with the county will be $75,000 a year, Ben Lloyd, the county executive's deputy chief of staff, said.
According to the county news release, Johnson is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, who has worked in five different television markets with local and national affiliates over the last 19 years. Most recently, she has been an on-air reporter during the early morning weekday hours on ABC2 News in Baltimore, where she has covered topics including education, crime and government.
Johnson is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communications and a minor in German. She serves as a member of the Board of Governors for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter, the National Association of Black Journalists and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She also volunteers with Project Literacy and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
"Sherrie Johnson's experience in television news and information gathering will be an asset to county government in our ongoing effort to communicate effectively with the public," Craig said in the news release. "She will be a great addition to our team."
"I look forward to working with my colleagues in the media to provide timely and accurate information regarding county government," Johnson said. "From my past experience on the journalism side, I know that Harford County is an exciting place to work, and that Harford County government has been a leader in the state when it comes to pioneering innovative new programs and in promoting transparency and efficiency. I can't wait to get started and to be a part of this team."