MDE Secretary Robert M. Summers, Ph. D.
Robert M. Summers, Ph.D. was appointed Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment by Governor Martin O’Malley on April 28, 2011. Dr. Summers leads the Department’s planning, regulatory, management and financing programs to protect public health, ensure a safe and reliable water supply, restore and protect air quality, water quality, wetlands and waterways, clean up contaminated land and ensure proper management of hazardous and solid wastes.
Dr. Summers has served the citizens of Maryland for 28 years in various capacities within Maryland’s progressive and nationally recognized environmental programs, with emphasis on scientific and technical issues related to water pollution control, drinking water protection and federal, State and local government environmental laws and regulations. Between 2001 and 2007, he served as the Director of MDE’s Water Management Administration and prior to that served for 4 years as Director of MDE’s Technical and Regulatory Services Administration. Throughout his career, Dr. Summers has been a key contributor to the multi-jurisdictional Chesapeake Bay restoration effort.
Dr. Summers is Maryland’s Commissioner on the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and the Appalachian States’ Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission. He is Chairman of the Governor’s Climate Change Commission and represents the Governor on the Maryland Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the State’s Water Resources.
Dr. Summers received his B.A. (1976) and Ph.D. (1982) in Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining Maryland’s environmental programs, he worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the State University of New York, Marine Sciences Research Center in Stony Brook, NY and as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins University’s Chesapeake Bay Institute.
Dr. Summers and his wife have three adult children and live in Baltimore, MD. They enjoy hiking, canoeing and sailing on the region’s rivers, Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic coast.