Baltimore business, civic group names new chair
University of Maryland’s Mohan Suntha will lead Greater Baltimore Committee
Dr. Mohan Suntha, head of the University of Maryland Medical System, will replace energy company executive Calvin G. Butler Jr. as the next chair of the Greater Baltimore Committee.
Suntha, who has been president and CEO of the medical system since November 2019, was named GBC board chair after a unanimous recommendation of the board’s nominating committee and a membership vote. He is the first chair elected since GBC merged last year with the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore.
He will lead the board until May 2025, becoming the 35th chair to lead the 68-year-old civic and business organization.
He succeeds Butler, who became one of the nation’s few Black Fortune 500 CEOs late last year when he was promoted to CEO of Exelon Corp., which owns Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. Butler became GBC chair in October 2020. He will remain on the GBC board and serve as immediate past chair.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the direction and future of the new GBC,” Butler said Wednesday in an announcement. “Mohan brings a collaborative approach to problem solving that involves the community as a whole.”
Suntha was promoted to the medical system’s top leadership role after a tumultuous year when many of the hospital network’s leaders resigned amid a self-dealing scandal related to the resignation of former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.
“This is a pivotal time for both Baltimore city and the state of Maryland,” Suntha said in the announcement Wednesday. “We all have a choice to make — either be leaders pushing for positive and inclusive change or accept the status quo. The GBC and its membership are committed to being these kinds of leaders.”
Making progress and helping the city can’t be the job of government alone, he said.
“We all have to take responsibility,” Suntha said. “None of us have the luxury of being passive citizens of this city. This starts by leveraging all the tremendous assets we already have — great institutions, worldclass businesses, infrastructure, a rich history and, of course, the people. “
A physician who earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Suntha had been known for helping the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson recover after its star cardiologist was accused of placing unnecessary stents in patients. He subsequently was tapped to lead the flagship University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
Butler said he planned to see the business advocacy group through its recent merger with the more regional alliance and the start of a recently named new CEO “and then it’s time for another leader to step up.” Mark Anthony Thomas, former president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, was selected as the GBC’s president and CEO in October after a national search.
Butler had said he planned to continue affiliations with other Baltimore-based organizations, including work as a board member with the Baltimore Community Foundation, the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.