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Gov. Hogan’s chief of staff leaves administration, joins University of Maryland Medical System

Roy McGrath, appointed Tuesday as the new chief of staff to Gov. Larry Hogan, speaks during a State House news conference in April.
Roy McGrath, appointed Tuesday as the new chief of staff to Gov. Larry Hogan, speaks during a State House news conference in April. (Pamela Wood)

Matthew A. Clark, Gov. Larry Hogan’s chief of staff, is leaving the administration to become a top official at the University of Maryland Medical System.

Clark served as Hogan’s chief spokesman through the first year and a half of the Republican governor’s term before leaving for the private sector. He then returned as chief of staff in 2017, leading the administration as Hogan won a historic re-election and then through its response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

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Clark, who made $198,000 last year, will become senior vice president of marketing and communications at the University of Maryland Medical System. Among other things, Clark said he’s proud of how the governor and leading Democrats forged an agreement to shore up the state’s health care system.

“Serving in the Hogan administration and working on behalf of Governor Hogan has been a great honor and I am profoundly grateful to have had this incredible opportunity to serve the people of Maryland," Clark said in a statement. “This role has been the highlight of my career and one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

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Hogan had appointed Clark to the hospital network’s board of directors as part of a clean-up effort following a self-dealing scandal at the system. Since then, the board has hired a new CEO, Dr. Mohan Suntha, who has sought to assure the public the state’s largest hospital network is undergoing reforms.

“Our System is incredibly fortunate to have someone of Matt’s caliber and depth of experience in strategic marketing communications joining our team,” Suntha said.  “Matt’s understanding of Maryland’s health industry will prove invaluable as we navigate System strategies across the state and further integrate the activities of our member organizations.”

Upon learning the news of Clark’s departure, Democratic legislative leaders quickly praised his bipartisan approach to government.

“Matt Clark has been a real asset to the State of Maryland,” House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, a Baltimore County Democrat, said in a statement. “Chiefs of Staff are invaluable positions and Matt always rose to the occasion, working well with me and entire the House of Delegates. This is a loss for state government and the Governor but I am not surprised that a fellow UMBC retriever is moving on to exciting new opportunities.”

Senate President Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, agreed.

“Throughout his term in the Administration, Matt has been accessible to all legislators with a level of professionalism we hope to see from all public servants. This is a loss for the Hogan Administration and I wish him best of luck in the future," Ferguson said.

Clark said he’s been able to make “really good friends on both sides of the aisle.”

Before being named chief of staff, Clark was a managing director with FTI Consulting, a business advisory and strategy consulting firm based in Washington, the same role he held before he first joined the administration.

Roy McGrath, CEO and Chairman of the Maryland Environmental Service Board of Directors, will become Hogan’s new chief of staff. He was previously a senior advisor to the governor, deputy chief of staff, and liaison to the Maryland Board of Public Works.

The personnel moves become effective June 1.

“Roy McGrath is an experienced public and private sector leader with a proven track record of managing at every level of government and a passionate commitment to public service,” Hogan said. “Roy has played a key role in our coronavirus response over the last three months, so his transition to chief of staff will be seamless. I want to sincerely thank Matthew Clark, who has been a close advisor to me and an integral part of our administration’s success over the last five years, and wish him and his family all the best.”

The Hogan administration did not immediately respond to a question about how much McGrath would be paid.

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