Mayor and City Council Biographies

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Jud AshmanMayor Jud Ashman

Jud.Ashman@gaithersburgmd.gov

  • Education: University of Miami – B.A. Communications/Political Science

  • Occupation: President – Web Mobile Image, LLC

  • Family: Married to Lee Ashman; two adult children

  • Gaithersburg Committee Liaison: Gaithersburg Book Festival Committee (Chair)

  • Civic Experience: City of Gaithersburg: Mayor 2014 – Present, Council Member 2007 – 2014, Council Vice President 2011; Gaithersburg Book Festival, Founder and Chair, 2009 – present; Maryland Municipal League: Maryland Mayors Association 2014 – present; Orchard Place Homeowners Association, Board of Directors 2007 – 2009; Mayor’s Ad Hoc Committee on Election Participation 2007; Coordinator, Quince Orchard Cluster of PTA’s 2005 – 2007; MCCPTA, Board of Directors 2005 – 2007; Brown Station Elementary School PTA, President 2002 – 2003; Gaithersburg Citizens for Smarter Growth, Founding Member 2001.


Robert WuCouncil Vice President Robert T. Wu

Robert.Wu@gaithersburgmd.gov

  • Education: Thesis Pending, George Washington University Law School, Masters of Law Candidate; University of San Francisco School of Law, Juris Doctor with Honors; Tufts University, Bachelor of Science in Biology and Environmental Studies

  • Occupation: Senior Attorney, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Reserves

  • Family: Married to Itsuko Jamie Udaka; two children

  • Gaithersburg Committee Liaison: Environmental Affairs Committee, Multicultural Affairs Committee, Policy Advisory Committee

  • Civic Experience: City of Gaithersburg: Council Member 2015 – present, Council Vice President 2019; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Board of Directors 2018 – present, Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee Alternate 2016 – present; U.S. Army active duty 2003 – 2009; U.S. Army Reserves 1999 – 2003, 2009 – present; U.S. Army Civilian 2009 – 2013; Watkins Mill Town Center HOA Board of Directors 2014 – 2016; City of Gaithersburg Transportation Committee 2015 – present; VFW 2003 – present; American Legion 2014 – present; American Bar Association 2009 – present; Brown Station Elementary School PTA 2014 – present


Neil HarrisCouncil Member Neil Harris

Neil.Harris@gaithersburgmd.gov

  • Education: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, MBA; University of Maryland University College, B.S. Business & Management

  • Occupation: Software Executive. Currently: Account Director, EPAM Systems

  • Family: Married to Michelle Harris; three children

  • Gaithersburg Committee Liaison: Economic and Business Development Committee, Transportation Committee

  • Civic Experience: City of Gaithersburg: Council Member 2014 – present, Council Vice President 2017, Economic and Business Development Committee, 2013 – 2014; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Board Member, 2015 – 2016, Transportation Planning Board, 2014 – present; Kentlands Citizens Assembly: Chairman, 2013 – 2014, President 2006 – 2008; Maryland Corridor Cities Transitway Area 1 Advisory Committee, 2014.


Laurie Anne SaylesCouncil Member Laurie-Anne Sayles

Laurie-Anne.Sayles@gaithersburgmd.gov

  • Education: MPA in Public Policy, University of Baltimore; BS in Public Health, University of Maryland College Park; Associate’s Degree, Prince George’s Community College

  • Occupation: Senior Executive Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy

  • Family: Married to Julian Haffner, Esq.; one child

  • Gaithersburg Committee Liaison: Senior Advisory Committee

  • Civic Experience: City of Gaithersburg: Council Member 2017 -present, Educational Enrichment Committee, 2013 -2015, Economic and Business Development Committee, 2016 -2017; National League of Cities: Board of Directors (Ex Officio), Community and Economic Development Committee 2018 -present; Maryland Municipal League:  Board of Directors 2019 -present, Montgomery County Chapter Vice President 2019 -present; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee 2018 – present; Windbrooke Homeowners Association; Board of Directors Montgomery Women; Montgomery County Community Action Board 2010 -2017; Montgomery County Corps 2013 -2014; MCPS Roundtable on Gaithersburg Cluster Overcrowding; Montgomery County Council Grants Advisory Group; Nonprofit Village, Montgomery County Board of Directors 2015 -2016 Leadership Montgomery -CORE Class Graduate, 2017; Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program 2011; Political Action Chair of the Black Ministers Conference of Montgomery County, 2015 -Present; Founder of the Gaithersburg Upcounty Breakfast Club, 2015 -Present; Muddy Branch Alliance Communications Consultant; 2015 -Present; MCCPTA and NAACP Parent Council, 2007 -Present; Member: Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration; Member: Omicron Delta Kappa, National Leadership Honors Society.


Michael SesmaCouncil Member Michael A. Sesma

Michael.Sesma@gaithersburgmd.gov

  • Education: University of California, Riverside, PhD in Psychology; University of California, San Diego – Revelle College, Bachelor’s in Biology and Psychology

  • Occupation: Neuroscientist, Educator. Currently Chief, Postdoctoral Training Branch, Division of Training, Workforce Development and Diversity, National Institute of General Medical Sciences/National Institutes of Health

  • Family: Married to Joan Adams Sesma; three children

  • Gaithersburg Committee Liaison: Cultural Arts Advisory Committee

  • Civic Experience: City of Gaithersburg: Council Member 2005 – present, Council Vice President 2009, 2013 & 2016; National League of Cities: Board of Directors 2013 – 2016, Advisory Council 2017 – present, Chair 2018, Vice Chair 2017; Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee 2007 – present, Chair 2012, Vice Chair 2011; Maryland Municipal League: Board of Directors 2015 – 2016; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Metropolitan Development Policy Committee, Region Forward Coalition, Human Services Policy Committee; City of Pasadena Hills, MO, Alderman 1986 – 1988, 1990 – 1992; Trustees of Pasadena Hills, Trustee and Treasurer 1992 – 1994; Diamond Elementary School: PTA 1995 – 2000, Quince Orchard Cluster Representative 1997 – 2000; Quince Orchard High School PTSA, 1995 – 1999; Kingsview Middle School: PTSA President 2001 – 2003, Quince Orchard and Northwest Cluster Representative 2000 – 2001; Gaithersburg Citizens for Smarter Growth, founding member 2001.


Ryan SpiegelCouncil Member Ryan Spiegel

Ryan.Spiegel@gaithersburgmd.gov

  • Education: Stanford Law School – J.D.; University of Maryland Honors Program – B.A. Journalism

  • Occupation: Partner at the law firm of Paley Rothman in Bethesda, MD.

  • Family: Married to Rachael Spiegel; two children

  • Gaithersburg Committee Liaison: Olde Towne Advisory Committee

  • Civic Experience: City of Gaithersburg: Council Member 2007 – present, Council Vice President 2012, 2015 & 2018, Education Committee 2006 – 2007; National League of Cities Transportation Infrastructure & Services Policy and Advocacy Committee 2009 – 2016; Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments: Board of Directors 2016 – 2017, Climate, Energy & Environment Policy Committee 2010 – present, Metropolitan Development Policy Committee Alternate 2008 – present; Maryland Municipal League: President-Elect 2018 - 2019, and president 2019 - 2020, Board of Directors 2016 – present, Legislative Committee Chair 2017 – 2018, Montgomery County Chapter President 2015 – 2017, District Vice President to MML Board of Directors 2015 – 2018, Montgomery County Chapter Vice President 2012 – 2015, Executive Board 2010 – 2011; National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board Alternate 2008 – present; Navy League of the United States: National Judge Advocate, 2017 – present; Victim Services Advisory Board of Montgomery County: Chairman 2005 – 2006, Vice Chair 2004 – 2005; University of Maryland Hillel, Board of Directors 2007 – 2009; Youth Achieve, Inc., Board of Directors 2007 – 2014; Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Board of Directors 2000 – 2002; Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, Board of Directors 1999 – 2000; Graduate of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance.