First Indian American elected to a state legislature in the United States, Barve has sponsored several climate change laws
Maryland Governor Wes Moore is nominating Kumar Barve, Indian American member of the State House, to the Maryland Public Service Commission. The appointment will occur after the 2023 legislative session.
Barve, the first Indian American elected to a state legislature in the United States, has been a member of the House of Delegates since January 1991, and the chair of the House Environment and Transportation Committee since 2015.
Read: In America, people cheer for the person who breaks the glass ceiling: Kumar Barve (September 16, 2015)
Barve, whom the governor described as “the ideal candidate for this role,” is expected to help the state combat climate change with his expertise in climate and technology.
“I am proud to announce the selection of Delegate Kumar Barve to serve on the Public Service Commission,” Moore stated Thursday. “He is a veteran of the Maryland House of Delegates and his leadership within the Environment and Transportation Committee makes him the ideal candidate for this role.”
“I am confident in Delegate Barve’s ability to bolster my administration’s commitment to environmental stewardship while ensuring ratepayers are protected,” Moore added.
The Public Service Commission regulates public utilities and certain passenger transportation companies doing business in Maryland. The commission’s jurisdiction extends to taxicabs operating in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Cumberland, and Hagerstown.
Read: Maryland Delegate Kumar Barve to receive ‘Public Servant of the Year’ award from the ILF (July 30, 2015)
Barve, who represents District 17 in Montgomery County, served as the Democratic House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2015.
Barve’s various policy accomplishments include economic development, environmental regulation, energy generation, energy conservation, greenhouse gas reduction, and tax policy, according to his official profile.
He sponsored several climate change laws, led Maryland’s effort to promote high tech job creation, and was a central player in closing corporate tax loopholes and in transforming Maryland’s tax code to be more progressive.
Barve was also a leading wit in the General Assembly, appearing for years as “Kumar the Magnificent” in the annual but now-defunct Legislative Follies, a skit that was based on Johnny Carson’s “Carnac the Magnificent” role on “The Tonight Show,” according to Maryland Matters.
Read: Moore appoints Barve, veteran lawmaker, to the Public Service Commission (April 6, 2023)
Barve has more than 40 years of experience as an accountant. He has been the Chief Financial Officer of Environmental Management Services, Inc. since 1993; he was the Financial Manager of UNISYS Corporation from 1987 to 1990; and from 1981-1987, he was the Economic/Proposal Manager of the Space Communications Corporation.
Barve earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Georgetown University. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including:
2017 League of Conservation Voters Legislator of the Year;
2013 India Abroad Lifetime Service Award;
2006 and 2008 Tech Council of Maryland Technology Advocate of the Year;
2003 and 2004 University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute Technology Leadership Award;
1996 Mid-Atlantic Venture Association Advocacy Award;
1995, 1996, 2000, and 2005 Montgomery County Medical Society, Legislator of the Year.