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Montgomery County Hires New Economic Development Chief

Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. CEO Benjamin Wu

A top official from Maryland's Department of Commerce will soon lead Montgomery County's economic development efforts. 

The Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday that Benjamin Wu will become its new president and CEO starting Dec. 18. 

The hire comes after David Petr, who has led the organization since its inception in 2016, announced in May that he would step down in September. Bill Tompkins has served as interim president and CEO. The organization is a public-private partnership tasked with recruiting and retaining businesses to promote the county's economic growth. 

Wu currently serves as the deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Maryland Department of Commerce. The Montgomery County native has sat on MDEDC's board since it was created. He also previously held roles in the U.S. Department of Commerce under President George W. Bush and worked as an aide to former Rep. Connie Morella, who represented Montgomery County in Congress. 

"I am committed to the county’s success," Wu said in a release. "Not too many people get the chance to meaningfully change and shape the future of where they live and grew up. I thank the MCEDC Board for this unique opportunity."

The hire is the latest in a series of changes at the top of economic development groups in the D.C. region. Victor Hoskins in July was named CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, leaving the top position at Arlington Economic Development. Christina Winn also left AED this year to lead Prince William County's economic development group. Brian Kenner this summer left his role as D.C.'s Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to join Amazon. In December 2018, David Iannucci replaced Jim Coleman as the CEO of Prince George's County Economic Development Corp.