- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 16, 2003

Edward B. Miller last week was appointed deputy secretary for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, the agency in charge of bringing new jobs to the state.

Mr. Miller, 32, has been the acting deputy secretary and chief of staff for the agency for the past six weeks to prepare for the post.

He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Department of Business and Economic Development’s (DBED) efforts to draw more business to Maryland and keep existing jobs in the state. The department has some 300 employees and a $120 million budget.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to promote the governor’s vision for business development through our existing businesses and new ones we hope to bring in-state,” Mr. Miller said.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, said he appointed Mr. Miller as “second in command” of the agency because of his legal experience and leadership.

“He is intelligent, resourceful and will ensure that DBED fosters and builds on collaboration among its key stakeholders: the business community, legislators, local jurisdictions, and most importantly, DBED employees,” Mr. Ehrlich said in a statement.

Mr. Miller said the agency is courting several large companies to base some of their operations in Maryland, but would not disclose more information.

“We are aggressively going after biotechnology companies, advanced technology firms and manufacturing companies,” he said.

Mr. Miller also is working with the General Assembly to keep funding for department programs such as the small-business assistance program. “It’s crucially important to have funding available in the economic upswing so that we can grab new companies first,” he said.

Mr. Miller signed on with the state government after serving as a corporate lawyer in the Baltimore office of law firm Piper Rudnick LLP. He specialized in mergers and acquisitions.

“This position now is some of the same work, but it’s done with a bigger picture in mind,” Mr. Miller said. “Instead of looking at the best interests of two companies, I’m now looking at hundreds of companies and how they can best use our state resources to promote job growth.”

The top goal is to make companies think of Maryland as the most business-friendly state, he said.

Maryland’s perception as a state that favors business has increased steadily in the past year, according to a quarterly survey by the University of Baltimore.

Researchers said 59 percent of the 250 Maryland companies surveyed in the most recent quarter viewed the state as business-friendly, up from 51 percent in the prior quarter. They credited Mr. Ehrlich’s economic agenda as a major part for the highest ratings in the survey’s seven-year history.

“We’re not going to win every company we go after, but we want to be on their top 10 list of states,” Mr. Miller said.

Mr. Miller and his wife, Iris, live in Baltimore County with their three children.

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