Chief of state's trade division resigns after recent criticism


The director of the Maryland International Division, the agency that oversees the state's trade initiatives, has resigned after recent criticism of the way the division was being managed.

Eric Feldmann resigned after meeting Friday with Mark L. Wasserman, who has been secretary of the Department of Economic and Employment Development for just over a week. Wasserman announced the resignation yesterday but would not say whether he asked for it.

Feldmann was not available to comment.

Feldmann has headed the Maryland International Division since iwas formed in 1988 as a "one-stop shop" for Marylanders interested in trade and for overseas businesses interested in investing in Maryland.

Kathleen Bond, the division's director of marketing for international trade, has been named interim director of the 55-person division until a permanent replacement is found.

In a letter sent yesterday to legislative leaders, Wasserman said Feldmann was leaving to pursue other career interests. "His departure offers us an opportunity for a leadership change, which will allow us to re-evaluate our direction," he wrote.

The Maryland International Division has been criticized recently by state legislators looking at ways to trim the state's budget deficit, by businessmen who complained about the quality of help they were getting from the division and by current and former employees who said politics were interfering with the division's operations.

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