Penelope Thornton Talley, Esq., has been named Chief Performance Officer for the Maryland State Department of Education. The Maryland State Board of Education approved her appointment today.
Ms. Talley will provide leadership, guidance, administration, and supervision to MSDE’s monitoring and support activities. She comes to MSDE from the Deputy Mayor for Education’s Office in Washington, DC, where she served as Interim Chief of Staff/Deputy Chief of Staff since last year. At MSDE, she replaces Deputy State Superintendent John Smeallie, who recently joined the staff at Towson University.
“As we deepen our knowledge about both State and federal policy, and focus on accountability, the position of Chief Performance Officer becomes critical,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. “We are fortunate to have Ms. Talley leading that effort. She comes to MSDE with both broad programmatic experience and a real passion for education.”
Prior to joining the Washington, DC, government, Ms. Talley spent nearly a decade with AARP, where she was Senior Vice President for Operations and Support Services. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland-University College.
Ms. Talley holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a law degree from the University of Richmond, and an MBA from the Johns Hopkins University.