MDOT MTA named Kelly Fenner as agency’s first DEI director

Feb. 8, 2023
Fenner is a former police captain and has served as DEI director for the Baltimore County Police Department.

Kelly Fenner has been named as the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration’s (MDOT MTA) first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) director, effective Feb. 8.

Fenner returns to MDOT MTA after serving as the DEI Director for the Baltimore County Police Department. In Baltimore County, she was credited with establishing partnerships with internal and external stakeholders, developing and teaching DEI curriculum and reviewing, revising and restructuring policies and procedures to ensure alignment with DEI strategies.

“I’m proud to help MDOT MTA grow and thrive by developing a welcoming and equitable atmosphere at the agency,” Fenner said. “Workplaces operate at their peak when their workforce includes people with diverse backgrounds and ideas.”

MDOT MTA’s strategic plan launched in September 2021 – Rebuilding Better: Committed to an Equitable Transit Future – prioritized equity in every aspect of all agency undertakings. Fenner’s appointment fulfills the strategic plan commitment to create a senior leadership-level position to oversee aspects of equity internally and externally.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are not new themes to MDOT MTA, but we cannot be satisfied with the status quo,” said MDOT MTA Administrator Holly Arnold. “This is another important step in ensuring the diversity of our community is well represented at every level of our agency, and that everyone feels welcome.”

MDOT MTA’s employee-driven Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC) was created in October 2020. MDOT MTA says its EDIC has allowed the agency to better track diversity metrics in leadership and understand the agency’s current climate in the areas of DEI.

Fenner will utilize the foundational work done by EDIC to build upon and to create a more dynamic response to the DEI needs of MDOT MTA. She will also serve as MDOT MTA’s key liaison for DEI with MDOT on the department’s Diversity to Belonging Steering Committee. Her input and expertise will be critical to ensure the overall MDOT MTA culture supports DEI initiatives.

“Serving our residents and our communities is at the heart of MDOT MTA’s mission, and we must perform that mission with a focus on access, equity and inclusion,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, acting MDOT secretary. “Creation of this new director position is one step in reaffirming our commitment to these values across all of MDOT.”

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