Robert Flanagan

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Robert L. Flanagan
Secretary of Transportation
In office
23 March 2003 – 17 January 2007
Preceded by John D. Porcari
Succeeded by John D. Porcari
State Delegate District 9A
In office
January 2002 – March 23, 2003
Succeeded by Warren E. Miller
State Delegate District 14B
In office
January 14, 1987 – January 2003
Personal details
Born (1945-11-01) 1 November 1945 (age 78)
Burlington, Vermont
Political party Republican

Robert L. Flanagan was the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation from 2003 until 2007, under the administration of Governor Robert Ehrlich. Prior to this position, Flanagan served in the Maryland House of Delegates.[1] He was first elected to office in 1987 and served with fellow Republican, Robert Kittleman, until 2002, when the districts were redrawn and he would move to District 14B.[2]


Flanagan attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, DC. After high school he attended Harvard University where he earned his B.A. in Economics in 1967. Flanagan attended Cornell Law School where he was a member of the Cornell Law Review, Order of Coif and published The Rights of Handicapped Children to an Education 59 Cornell L.R. 519(1974), earning his J.D. in 1974.


After college, Flanagan joined the United States Navy and earned the rank of Lieutenant. He served aboard the ballistic missile submarine, USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599), from 1967 until 1971.

After his stint in the Navy, Flanagan obtained his J.D. from Cornell Law School, as mentioned previously. He was admitted to the Bar in 1974 and began practicing law. He practiced law for 28 years.

In 1987, he began his political career by being elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, serving District 14B, which covered parts of Montgomery and Howard Counties. Districts were later redrawn and he was elected into his new district of 9A, which was solely in Howard County. As a Republican member in the heavily Democratic House of Delegates, he served the role as Minority Whip from 1997 until 2001.

Being a Republican in the Maryland General Assembly leaves little chance to serve as a chair on any committees. However, Flanagan was able to chair the Howard County Delegation from 1991 until 1996. Moreover, he was a high-ranking Republican on many committees, such as the Judiciary Committee (1987–90), the Joint Audit Committee (1987–92, 1995-03), the important Appropriations Committee (1991-03), the Legislative Policy Committee (1997-02), and the Rules and Executive Nominations Committee (1997-02).

Finally, in the 2002 gubernatorial election, Republican Robert Ehrlich defeated Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend to become the first Republican to govern the state of Maryland since Spiro Agnew in 1969. Governor Ehrlich tapped Flanagan to become his Secretary of Transportation. In this position, Flanagan would be charged with the management of the Port of Baltimore, the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), the Motor Vehicle Administration, the various transportation entities, such as the MARC Train, the Baltimore Light Rail, the Baltimore Subway, and the Maryland bus system (MTA), and various tolls and bridges, such as the Fort McHenry Tunnel and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

During his tenure as Secretary(2003–07), Maryland obtained approval under the National Environmental Policy Act to begin construction of the Inter-county connector as a state of the art, congestion managed highway by developing a new environmentally sensitive design(after two prior rejections by the EPA in 1983 and 1997). Maryland also began building its first Express toll lanes on I-95 North of Baltimore; constructed the Southwest Airlines terminal at Baltimore Washington Airport, planned and constructed a new cruise ship terminal in Baltimore off of I-95, reorganized the Baltimore region's bus routes and fixed transit service for the disabled. This latter achievement resulted in a friendly settlement of a potentially acrimonious lawsuit brought in early 2003 by the Maryland Disability Law Center citing long standing deficiencies.

In 2006, Baltimore Mayor, Martin O'Malley, defeated Bob Ehrlich in the gubernatorial election, thus ending Flanagan's tenure as the Secretary of Transportation. He was replaced by John D. Porcari, who was the Secretary during the administration of the previous governor, Parris Glendening.

From 2007-09, Flanagan was a Senior Vice President with First Southwest Company, advising state and local governments regarding public private partnerships for transportation. He has been a speaker on this topic in various forums including the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Study Group on Transportation Infrastructure. In 2009, Flanagan co-authored Emerging Trends in Surface Transport Concessions PPPs in the U.S. published in Investing in Infrastructure, a best selling comprehensive research source on infrastructure funds, investment techniques and financing challenges in the world's diverse market by PEI Media Ltd.

Flanagan currently is a practicing lawyer in Columbia, Maryland focusing on business representation, litigation, government matters and procurement law. Information regarding his law practice can be found at

Flanagan was again elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014, representing district 9B. He is currently serving on the Environment and Transportation Committee.

References and notes

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External links

Preceded by District 9A Delegate
Succeeded by
Warren E. Miller
Preceded by Maryland Secretary of Transportation
Succeeded by
John D. Porcari