Officially assuming leadership of an agency that has seen turnover in recent years, Randi Walters has been appointed director of Baltimore City’s Department of Social Services.
The appointment was made jointly last week by Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Maryland Department of Human Services Secretary Lourdes Padilla.
Walters has been serving as the interim director since March, after Stacy L. Rodgers left the post to become Baltimore County’s newest administrative officer. Walters formerly served as the Deputy Secretary of Programs at the Maryland Department of Human Services.
Before coming to Maryland, Walters was a senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Administration at the U.S. Department of Human Services, where she managed the day-to-day operations of an office responsible for $3 billion dollars in annual spending.
“There is no better person to lead the Baltimore City Department of Social Services than Dr. Walters,” Padilla said, in a prepared news release.
Walters earned her Ph.D. in Social Work and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Howard University. She received her MSW-C from California State University, San Bernardino,
Audit Found Irregularities
Walters takes over an agency that came under scrutiny last year when a state audit reported that “a former management employee” had misused nearly $2 million intended for poor children and did not properly account for another $5.5 million.
The Brew identified the unnamed employee as Molly McGrath Tierney, who ran Baltimore’s social services agency for nine years and abruptly resigned in August 2017 without explanation.
Rodgers was appointed by former Mayor Catherine Pugh in March of 2018 to fill the position after Tierney’s departure.
In Friday’s news release, Walters promised “innovative approaches to improving the lives of the most vulnerable.”
“Having experience at both the front line as a child protective services worker and at the executive level serving in federal and state agencies, I understand the importance of using data to drive performance improvement to better serve those who need us most,” Walters said.