Frederick W. Puddester, secretary of the Maryland Department of Budget and Management and the cabinet official responsible for the state's $19 billion budget, human resources management and information technology, will leave state service after 21 years to become chief budget officer of the university.
Puddester, 45, will begin work June 1 as executive director of budget and financial planning and analysis. In that role, he will prepare and monitor the university's budget of nearly $2 billion and, in collaboration with the administration and the deans and directors of Hopkins divisions, prepare the annual five-year financial plan.
He also will construct the university's capital plan, conduct special studies on financial issues and serve as primary staff liaison to the Finance Committee of the board of trustees.
"Fred Puddester is a remarkably bright and able analyst, manager and leader," said William R. Brody, president of the university. "I've gotten to know him well since I've been at Johns Hopkins and I've developed great admiration for the skill with which he carries out his work as the senior administrator in the governor's cabinet."
Puddester's skills and experience match perfectly with the responsibilities assigned to the new executive director position, which is far broader than the job it replaces, said James T. McGill, senior vice president for finance and administration.
"He is a high-caliber, professional leader who understands Hopkins' decentralized environment," McGill said. "He will be terrific at providing expertise and support to the deans and directors of the university's divisions. He will also play a major role in efforts already under way to improve our financial processes and other business practices of the university."
Puddester has served as Gov. Parris Glendening's secretary of budget and management since June 1996. His department develops and implements the state budget, oversees personnel management for more than 70,000 state employees and manages state employee benefits. The department also is responsible for state government's management information systems and digital and telephone networks and the state telephone relay service for the hearing impaired.
Puddester was director of finance from 1989 to 1991 in what was then the Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning and deputy secretary of the department from 1991 to 1995. He served as deputy chief of staff in the governor's office in 1995 and 1996 before returning to the budget department as secretary.
He joined state government in the Department of Fiscal Services of the Maryland General Assembly in 1979. He remained there until 1988, when he transferred to the executive branch as director of the Water Quality Financing Administration in the Department of the Environment.
"I've had a good career here, but after 21 years in state government, I've been looking for a new challenge, and working at Hopkins will provide that challenge," Puddester said. "It's a unique opportunity to work in a world-class organization."
Puddester said his greatest satisfaction as secretary was to "turn the tide" on pay, benefits and deferred compensation for state employees that had been hit hard during recession and never fully recovered. The "most fun," however, he said, was "getting the Ravens stadium through."
"I've had conversations with dozens of people at Hopkins and I am uniformly impressed with the people I've met," he said. "I'm anxiously waiting a chance to be their colleague."
Puddester is a 1977 graduate of the University of Vermont and in 1979 earned a master's degree in public policy from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.