Mayor Scott taps adviser, campaign manager Marvin James as interim chief of staff, Bryan Doherty as communications head

May 05, 2023

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has tapped his longtime adviser and campaign manager Marvin James to serve as interim chief of staff, a quietly powerful position that is generally tasked with managing the mayor’s relationships with the City Council and state lawmakers, according to an internal memo reviewed by The Baltimore Banner.
The memo, written by City Administrator Faith Leach, also announced Thursday afternoon that Bryan Doherty will serve as the mayor’s director of communications. Both James and Doherty will fill roles that opened on Monday, when the first term Democrat asked former Chief of Staff Chezia Cager and former communications head Cirilo Manego to resign from their positions.
James is among the mayor’s most trusted advisers. He led a campaign that saw Scott eke out a narrow win in 2020′s crowded Democratic mayoral primary and officially joined City Hall as a senior advisor in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods.

His appointment stands in contrast to those of Cager and Manego, who were comparatively less connected to City Hall politics than James. Though Cager was a member of the city’s 41st District Democratic Central Committee, Manego is a newcomer to Baltimore, having moved to the city from Washington, D.C., last year. Prior to joining City Hall, he ran his own consulting firm, which is still in operation, and worked at the progressive nonprofit The Hub Project.
Doherty most recently served as the national press secretary of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. He served as a communications adviser to Scott’s 2020 campaign and is also known to Maryland’s political class as a communications head for Ben Jealous’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign. According to the memo, he is a Baltimore County native. He also worked as communications director for New Jersey Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill and on Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Leach’s memo also named Blair Adams as the mayor’s deputy communications director. She has served several stints as a spokeswoman in different city agencies, most recently the Department of Public Works and the fire department.
Caron Watkins will join Leach’s office as as director of policy and strategy. Watkins is no stranger to City Hall: She most recently served as deputy chief equity officer in the Mayor’s Office of Equity and Civil Rights, and also worked for former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake as communications director. Watkins has also served as an assistant state’s attorney and the chief of staff to the former Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby from 2015 to 2018.
The mayor’s office announced the personnel changes in a news release after The Banner reported this story. In a statement, Scott said he looks forward to working with the new roster of officials.
“My administration has made record progress including increasing investment in our schools, reducing unemployment, and expanding partnerships between community and police to reduce violent crime,” Scott said. “Our success is due in part to the talented professionals who are willing and able to serve the citizens of Baltimore.”
You could read more of this Baltimore Banner article here.