Leadership Biographies

Kenneth C. Holt, Secretary

Kenneth C. Holt was appointed secr​etary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development by Governor Larry Hogan in 2015 after serving on the new administration's transition team. As secretary, he manages the state's housing finance, mortgage insurance, community development and building code programs.

Secretary Holt is a former member of the Maryland General Assembly where he served on the House Appropriations Committee and the subcommittee on education and economic development. During his 25-year career with Morgan Stanley in Baltimore, Secretary Holt served as senior vice president, branch manager and portfolio manager. He was previously chairman and chief financial officer of Traitify, a software development firm that was recognized by Maryland's Technology Development Corp. as the "most innovative" start-up company of 2013.

Secretary Holt gained on-the-ground experience with neighborhood revitalization, development and housing issues as a past member of the Baltimore County Master Plan Advisory Committee and a past president of his neighborhood civic association. His experience on the Baltimore County Human Relations Commission gives him a strong foundation in issues of fairness and housing equity.

Secretary Holt earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland College Park. He and his wife Mary operate a family farm in the Kingsville community in Baltimore County. The couple has two children.

Carol A. Gilbert, Assistant Secretary

Division of Neighborhood Revitalization

Assistant Secretary, Carol A. Gilbert heads the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization, the office responsible for administering the majority of the department's community development and revitalization programs. Those include the Community Legacy, Strategic Demolition Fund and Community Development Block Grant programs.

Before joining the department, the assistant secretary served as both a program consultant and program officer with the Goldseker Foundation, specializing in providing investment strategies and community development expertise to support nonprofit organizations helping communities and individuals in the Baltimore metropolitan area. She is a former executive director of the Neighborhood Design Center, a 30 year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to providing lower income communities access to professional community design services. She also founded the Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition, a public-private partnership working to prevent the loss of affordable housing due to mortgage foreclosure and predatory lending.

Assistant Secretary Gilbert received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Virginia and a master's degree in architecture from the University of Maryland College Park's Graduate School of Architecture.

Matthew Heckles, Assistant Secretary

Division of Development Finance

Matthew HecklesMatthew Heckles joined the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development in September 2016 as Assistant Secretary of the Division of Development Finance and Director of the Community Development Administration. In this capacity, Mr. Heckles oversees the Department's single family mortgage, affordable rental housing financing, rental housing subsidy administration, special loan, energy, and small business lending programs. Prior to joining the department, Mr. Heckles served in state government in Delaware for more than fifteen years. Twelve of these years were spent in several roles at the Delaware State Housing Authority including as the Director of Policy and Planning and as the Director of Housing Finance. Mr. Heckles holds undergraduate degrees in Economics and International Relations and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Delaware. He brings a wealth of experience to his role as CDA Director, including program administration, mortgage financing, bond financing, policy development, legislative advocacy, strategic planning, community redevelopment and contract administration.

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