Washington, D.C. (December 14, 2016) – Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Council President and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors Chairman for 2016, was recognized today for his outstanding leadership and service to the region. Berliner accepted COG’s highest honor, the Elizabeth and David Scull Award for Metropolitan Public Service, Wednesday at its Annual Meeting.
The award was presented to Berliner by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and Vice Chairman Penny Gross.
As Chairman of the COG Board of Directors, Berliner led the board as it focused on restoring safety and service in the Metrorail system. Throughout the year, he often served as a regional spokesperson on the issue, and encouraged conversations among private, public, and civic leaders, and Metro management, including leading two regional Metro forums hosted by COG and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. Following an initial analysis of performance metrics for Metro, its funding needs, and the economic value of the system to the region, a COG task force will explore revenue options in early 2017 to help steer Metro toward a solid financial foundation.
In 2016, Berliner also worked alongside COG, universities, businesses, and others to enhance the region’s competitiveness through efforts such as the Global Cities Initiative.
Before serving as Board Chairman, Berliner led COG’s Climate, Energy, and Environment Policy Committee. Under his leadership, the group focused on modernizing the electric grid and improving emergency coordination related to energy.
MORE: Council President Roger Berliner Honored with Scull Public Service Award (County Cable Montgomery)
MEMA's Russell Strickland presents Arlington County's James Schwartz and DC HSEMA's Chris Geldart with Kirby Awards (COG).
COG’s Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership was presented to two regional leaders, Chris Geldart and James Schwartz. Geldart, the director of the District of Columbia's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, was recognized for his expertise in threat assessment, preparedness, training and exercises, and response and recovery as well as his leadership in overseeing the region’s urban area security initiative grant program.
Schwartz, who currently serves as a Deputy County Manager and previously served as the County’s Fire Chief, was honored for leading regional collaboration around planning, training, mutual aid, and responding to local and regional homeland security incidents, such as his role as Incident Commander on September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency Director Russell Strickland presented Geldart and Schwartz with the awards. Strickland noted both leaders’ ability to work seamlessly among all public safety and homeland security personnel and praised them for their contributions in helping establish a new Homeland Security Executive Committee.
COG's Chuck Bean and Roger Berliner with Partnership Award winner Tony Costa (COG).
COG honored Tony Costa, the Senior Advisor to the Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), and GSA’s FedScape team for their work ensuring that efficiency, economic development, and sustainability are considered when deciding where to locate federal facilities.
Through its work alongside COG, area planning directors, and economic development offices, FedScape has helped forge a more collaborative relationship between the region and GSA, which has a portfolio of more than 93 million square feet of space and more than 880 government facilities in metropolitan Washington. COG Executive Director Chuck Bean presented Costa with the award, noting that FedScape’s efforts build on COG’s Activity Centers, which are priority places for growth.
The Elizabeth and David Scull Award for Metropolitan Public Service is presented annually to a local, state, or federal elected official for outstanding service to metropolitan Washington. It is named after the late Montgomery County Councilmembers, who were strong supporters of COG and regional cooperation.
The Ronald F. Kirby Award for Collaborative Leadership is presented in the memory of Ron Kirby, COG’s Director of Transportation Planning from 1987 to 2013. The award recognizes non-elected government executives, who work collaboratively with elected officials, stakeholders, and their communities to shape a better region.
The Regional Partnership Award is presented to organizations or individuals who have worked with COG to improve the quality of life for area residents.