Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday announced an addition to and departure from his cabinet.
Lourdes R. Padilla was hired to fill the vacant position of human resources secretary, according to a statement issued by the governor's office. Padilla comes to the state from Pennsylvania, where she was deputy secretary of that state's Department of Human Services.
The governor's office also announced the state's information technology secretary, David A. Garcia, resigned "to attend to family and personal issues."
Garcia will remain in his job through the end of the month while the governor searches for a replacement.
Padilla will start her new job Feb. 8. The Department of Human Resources oversees social services including foster care, food assistance and child support.
In a statement, Padilla said she hopes to "continue the tremendous work the department has done improving and reforming Maryland's human services delivery system over the past two years."
Padilla has held several positions in the Pennsylvania state government dating to 2005, and she said she has 28 years of experience in human services.
Since 2011, Padilla has been deputy secretary for income maintenance in the Pennsylvania department, where she oversaw bureaus of child support enforcement, policy, program support, operations and program evaluation.
Before that, Padilla was a regional manager for public welfare offices and a statewide operations director overseeing 67 public welfare offices.
She also was executive director of county assistance offices, where she lists as one of her key accomplishments creating a statewide Spanish-language customer service center.
During the tenure of previous Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Padilla often was quoted in news articles explaining the Republican governor's decisions to cut or modify benefits for the poor. Corbett was governor from 2011 to 2015.
In 2013, when Latino community activists protested outside Corbett's Philadelphia office to highlight the lack of Latinos in state government, Padilla met with the group and discussed their concerns in Spanish, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Padilla replaces the previous human resources secretary, Sam Malhotra, who became Hogan's chief of staff in October. The position had been filled on an interim basis by deputy secretary Gregory S. James.
The governor's office could not provide Padilla's salary, but said it will be comparable to the $167,000 that Malhotra made when he held the position.