Parris N. Glendening, PhD, MA

Parris N. Glendening, PhD, MA‌Former Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening, PhD, MA, is president of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute and the Governors’ Institute on Community Design.

In these roles, Glendening speaks across the country and around the world about smart growth, sustainability, global climate change, land conservation, transit-oriented development, and equity. He regularly speaks to environmental advocacy groups, business leaders, and professional organizations.

Glendening served as governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003, creating the nation’s first state-level smart growth program, for which he received Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government Award. With his Smart Growth-Anti Sprawl initiative, Glendening positioned Maryland as a national leader in the fight to preserve existing open space, protect natural resources, reinvigorate established communities, and stem the tide of suburban sprawl.

Recognizing that access to a quality education makes success possible for everyone, Glendening also made education a top priority. In his first term as governor, Glendening increased aid to primary and secondary education by more than $600 million. In his second term, he vowed to take Maryland into the Golden Age of School Construction with a commitment to invest more than $1.6 billion to build and modernize classrooms over four years.

Working with Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Glendening promoted safety with innovative programs such as community policing and HotSpots, and one of the strongest anti-gun violence measures in the nation. 

Before being elected governor, Glendening served three four-year terms as the county executive of Prince George’s County, Md., and 10 years as a city and county council member. He was elected president of the Maryland Association of Counties, the Democratic Governors Association, the National Governors Association, and the Council of State Governments. For his leadership, Glendening was twice named as Governing magazine’s Outstanding Public Official of the Year, making him the first to receive that prestigious award at both the local and state levels.

He also was a highly regarded professor at the University of Maryland, College Park for 27 years, repeatedly recognized for his innovative, quality teaching and receiving the University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Glendening continues to be involved in the National Academy of Public Administration as an elected fellow. He has served as senior advisor to the president and national council of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). His mix of academic, political, and nonprofit careers has led to numerous public service awards, including ASPA’s Donald C. Stone Award and the American Political Science Association’s Hubert H. Humphrey Award.

Born in New York and raised in Florida, Glendening holds a PhD in Government and Politics from Florida State University as well as eight honorary degrees.

Glendening lives in Annapolis, Md., with his wife, Jennifer, and their 15-year-old daughter, Bri, an accomplished equestrian. His son Raymond, a graduate of West Virginia University, was previously the political director of the Democratic Governors Association. He is currently the founder and president of Scarlet Oak Strategies in Washington, D.C.