Kendel Ehrlich

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Kendel Ehrlich
Ehrlich in 2022
Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
In office
August 2019 – February 2020
PresidentDonald Trump
First Lady of Maryland
In role
January 15, 2003 – January 17, 2007
Preceded byJennifer Glendening
Succeeded byKatie O'Malley
Personal details
Kendel Sibiski

(1961-10-08) October 8, 1961 (age 62)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
(m. 1993)
Children2 sons[2][3]
Alma materUniversity of Delaware (1983),[4] University of Baltimore School of Law (1987)[5]
OccupationAssistant Public Defender (1990–1995);[4] County Prosecutor (4 years);[6] Cable television Lawyer, Consultant, Producer (1997–2007);[7] Bank Director (from 2007)[8][9]
ProfessionAttorney (licensed 1987)[10]

Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich (born 1961) is a former First Lady of Maryland, having served from 2003 to 2007 during the administration of Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich.[11][12] She is the first woman of Polish descent to have been Maryland's First Lady.[1]

From 2019 to 2020, she served as the deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and from March 2020 to 2021 as the director of the Justice Department's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART).

Early life[edit]

Ehrlich was born in 1961 to parents Walt and Jane Sibiski and raised in Arbutus and Lutherville, Maryland, respectively southwest and north of the city of Baltimore. She attended Dulaney High School, where she was a co-captain of the lacrosse team, and received a B.A. degree in criminal justice from the University of Delaware in 1983 and LL.B. degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1987. She married Robert Ehrlich, then a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, on July 24, 1993.[13][14]

From 1990 to 1995,[4] Ehrlich was an Assistant Public Defender in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.[6][15] She also served for four years as a prosecutor with Harford County, Maryland.[6] From 1997 to 2007, Ehrlich worked for Comcast Cable in various capacities,[16] initially as a lawyer, then part-time as a consultant and later a television show producer.[7]

First lady[edit]

On October 3, 2003, during her first year as first lady, Mrs. Ehrlich spoke at a domestic violence function and made the statement, "You know, really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would." She apologized to Spears, and a spokesperson later said that the incident "inadvertently used a figure of speech."[17]

In July 2004, Baltimore magazine published an article on the Ehrlichs' move into Government House, in which the first lady commented on the adjustment involved for the family, and the changes that were made.[14]

Ehrlich joined a steering committee in September 2004 on Underage Drinking Research and Prevention, sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.[18]

In April 2005, Ehrlich and her husband spoke out against newspapers, particularly The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post, as being biased and unfair.[19]

The Washington Post reported in June 2005 that the first lady had played a very active role in decisions such as "appointments and policy initiatives".[11] Asked about her advisory influence in 2003, Ehrlich's response was summarized as its only being on the issue of "loyalty within his administration".[20]

Subsequent activities[edit]

Ehrlich in 2015

After her husband left office, Ehrlich took a job as a director for BankAnnapolis.[8] She and her husband have also hosted a Saturday radio show on WBAL-AM.[21][22] By mid-2009, rumors began to surface regarding the prospect of Kendel Ehrlich's running for elected office herself.[6] Her husband was defeated by Martin O'Malley in the 2006 and 2010 Maryland gubernatorial races.

On March 2, 2015, longtime U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski announced that she would not seek re-election in 2016. Former First Lady Kendel Ehrlich had been mentioned as a potential Republican candidate for the open seat in the 2016 Senate election, though she did not run for the office.[23][24] In October 2015, Ehrlich was sworn in as an assistant state's attorney in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and left the position in 2018.[25][26]

On July 31, 2019, President Trump announced his intention to appoint Ehrlich to be Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.[27] On February 28, 2020, Trump announced he would nominate her to lead the DOJ's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) within the Office of Justice Programs;[28] she was sworn in as the director on March 16, 2020,[29] and was succeeded by an acting director in early 2021.[30]


  1. ^ a b Poremski, Richard P. (November 7, 2006). "Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich – Maryland's 1st Polish First Lady". Polish Culture. Jagoda Urban-Klaehn. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  2. ^ "CPWN Newsletter" (PDF). Chesapeake Professional Women's Network. September 2006. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  3. ^ Nitkin, David (April 23, 2004). "For baby Ehrlich, gifts of glitterati". The Morning Call. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Canavan, Kathy (2003). "At home in the governor's mansion". UD Messenger. University of Delaware. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  5. ^ "Putting the Bully Pulpit to Good Use". University of Baltimore Alumni Magazine. University of Baltimore. Spring 2003. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d Smitherman, Laura (August 9, 2009). "Kendel Ehrlich Weighing Run?". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 16, 2009. She served five years as a public defender in Anne Arundel County
  7. ^ a b Green, Andrew A. (March 8, 2006). "Kendel Ehrlich Reveals Salary". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  8. ^ a b "BankAnnapolis :: Officers & Directors :: Kendel S. Ehrlich". SNL Financial. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  9. ^ "BankAnnapolis Names Kendel Ehrlich to Board of Directors". Gale Group. January 22, 2007. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  10. ^ "Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich". Avvo. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  11. ^ a b Mosk, Matthew (June 26, 2005). "A Light-as-Air Image Veils Kendel Ehrlich's Political Heft". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  12. ^ "2006 Speakers" (PDF). Association of Maryland Families. 2006. pp. 8–9. Retrieved July 30, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich". Maryland State Archives. January 19, 2018. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Marion, Jane (July 2004). "To The Manor Elected". Baltimore. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  15. ^ Funk, Deborah (July 29, 1992). "'Car Trouble' Robber Pleads Guilty, Gets Drug Treatment". The Capital. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  16. ^ "Kendel S. Ehrlich Profile". Forbes. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  17. ^ "Mrs. Ehrlich: I Really Regret Making Britney Statement". WBAL TV. Internet Broadcasting Systems. October 9, 2003. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  18. ^ "Research and Policy Experts Meet to Address Underage Drinking" (Press release). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. September 17, 2004. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  19. ^ "Kendel Ehrlich joins husband in fight against newspapers". The Baltimore Sun. Associated Press. April 26, 2005. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  20. ^ Hyslop, Margie (August 8, 2003). "First lady finding her feet". The Gazette. Retrieved February 29, 2020 – via Maryland State Archives.
  21. ^ Wagner, John (March 18, 2007). "Ehrlich Out of Office but Not Out of Sight". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  22. ^ "Robert and Kendel Ehrlich Show". RadioTime. Archived from the original on October 10, 2010. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  23. ^ Wenger, Yvonne (March 2, 2015). "Who are the candidates to succeed Barbara Mikulski?". Capital Gazette. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  24. ^ Levinson, Alexis (March 2, 2015). "Long List of Possible Barbara Mikulski Successors". Roll Call. Archived from the original on March 6, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  25. ^ Witte, Brian (October 29, 2015). "Kendel Ehrlich, former first lady of Maryland, sworn in as an assistant state's attorney". The Washington Times. Associated Press. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  26. ^ San Felice, Selene (July 31, 2019). "Trump appoints Sean Spicer to Naval Academy, Kendel Ehrlich to White House". Capital Gazette. Retrieved October 25, 2020.
  27. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate and Appoint Individuals to Key Administration Posts". July 31, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2019 – via National Archives.
  28. ^ Mordock, Jeff (February 28, 2020). "Trump to nominate former Maryland first lady for key DOJ post". The Washington Times. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  29. ^ "SMART Leadership". U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. Archived from the original on April 19, 2020. Retrieved April 19, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  30. ^ "SMART Leadership". U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs. Archived from the original on February 11, 2021. Retrieved February 10, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
Honorary titles
Preceded by First Lady of Maryland
January 15, 2003 – January 17, 2007
Succeeded by