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Prince George’s County Council Confirms Nominations of Dr. Haitham Hijazi to be Director of the New Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement (DPIE) and Adam Ortiz as Director of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER)


For Immediate Release
July 26, 2013 

Media Contact:
Monica Biscoe, Communications Specialist
Prince George’s CountyEDC


Prince George’s County Council Confirms Nominations of Dr. Haitham Hijazi to be Director of the New Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement (DPIE) and Adam Ortiz as Director of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER)


Largo, MD – The Prince George’s County Council confirmed the nominations of Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement (DPIE) Director Dr. Haitham Hijazi and Adam Ortiz as the Director of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER).


“I am very pleased that the County Council has confirmed Dr. Haitham Hijazi and Adam Ortiz as Directors for DPIE and DER, respectively,” said Baker. “DER and our newly formed DPIE, are two departments that are critical to the quality of life and economy of Prince George’s County.  We are fortunate to have two leaders who bring such a high-level of knowledge and experience to their jobs." 


The new Department of Permitting, Inspections, and Enforcement is a one-stop, high-quality, customer-friendly experience for permit applicants, licensees, and property owners.  DPIE opened on July 1, 2013 with the core responsibilities of issuing permits and licenses, conducting commercial and residential property inspections, and enforcing property standards in accordance with County codes.  The Department of Environmental Resources protects and enhances the natural and built environments of Prince George's County by enforcing Federal, State and County laws to create a healthy, safe and aesthetically pleasing environment for all residents and businesses of the County.



Dr. Haitham A. Hijazi is the Director of the new Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE).  Dr. Hijazi has worked in County government for 20 years. Prior to his appointment as the Acting Director of DPIE, Dr. Hijazi served as the Director of the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T), a position to which he was appointed in October 2004.


Earlier in his government career, Dr. Hijazi served as the Associate Director of DPW&T’s Office of Engineering from July 1994 – October 2004; and, prior to that, he was the Chief of the Engineering Services Division within the Office of Engineering.  Before joining Prince George’s County Government, Dr. Hijazi was the Chief Engineer and Operations Manager for Light, Elliot and Associates, a private engineering consulting firm located in Adelphi, Maryland.  Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Hijazi has worked in all facets of engineering related to development and redevelopment, and has had direct responsibility for permitting, inspections and enforcement activities.     


During his tenure as Director of DPW&T, Dr. Hijazi was credited with the development and implementation of numerous programs designed to increase safety and mobility for all users of Prince George’s County’s transportation infrastructure.  Included among those programs are the Intersection Safety Enhancement Program, designed to address failing and congested intersections on County-maintained roadways; the Green/Complete Street Program, designed to ensure that reconstructed roadways include pedestrian and bicycle facilities (i.e., sidewalks and bike lanes), safety features (i.e., street lights and crosswalks) and environmental features (i.e., stormwater management facilities for water quality/quantity run-off and street trees).  In addition, he developed the Community Partnering Program, which brings together representatives of County agencies and residents to identify and collaboratively address community concerns.


A resident of Prince George’s County where he lives with his family, Dr. Hijazi holds a Doctor of Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park; a Master of Civil Engineering from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.; and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Damascus University, Damascus, Syria.   



Adam Ortiz is the Director for the Department of Environmental Resources for Prince George’s County. Since his assignment in October 2012, the agency has launched aggressive initiatives to tackle blight, enhance property standards enforcement, pilot a public-private partnership to enhance local business participation in the county’s urban retrofit stormwater program, generate more renewable energy, and increase community participation in sustainability programs.


From July 2011 to October 2012, Adam headed up CountyStat, an office established by County Executive Rushern Baker to ensure accountability and innovation, focusing on public safety, housing, and revitalization. Prior to that he had served as Acting Director of the Office of Community Relations for the Administration, where he helped to launch CountyClick/311.


From 2005-11, he served three terms as Mayor of Edmonston, Maryland where he pioneered the Edmonston Green Street, a model of sustainability utilizing natural bioretention for polluted stormwater in an urban setting, high efficiency LED streetlights powered by wind energy, native plants and trees, improved bike and pedestrian safety, with more than 60% local minority contracting, and has received recognition and awards from The White House and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, among other organizations.


He previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown  and oversaw veterans affairs, higher education, workforce policy and budget. As StateStat Director for the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation under Secretary Tom Perez, he monitored agency operations, and served as co-Director of Governor Martin O'Malley's New Americans’ Initiative, which has been recognized as a best practice by the National Governors’ Association.


As a volunteer, he is a member of the Local Government Advisory Council to the EPA Administrator, is a Board member of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, has served as President of the Maryland Mayors’ Association (2009-2010) and Chair of the Port Towns Community Development Corporation. He was born and raised in New York’s Hudson Valley and has a B.A. from Goucher College in Towson, MD.