Wes Moore (1978- )

Moore posing in front of Maryland state flag
Wes Moore's Official Portrait as Governor of Maryland, January 8, 2023
Courtesy Maryland State Archives

Wes Moore—Rhodes Scholar, banker, and writer—was elected governor of Maryland on November 8, 2022. He is the first African American to hold that office in the state. Moore was born Westley Watende Omari Moore on October 15, 1978, in Washington, D.C., to Westley Moore, a radio news anchor, and Joy Thomas Moore, a Media Consultor, from Lowe River, Jamaica. Both parents were college graduates. Wes has two sisters, Nikki Moore and Shani Moore, and all of them were reared there and in the Bronx, New York, in the home of their Cuban-born grandmother.

Moore’s early education began at the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, New York. In 1998, he graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy and College in Wayne, Pennsylvania, receiving an Associate of Arts degree in liberal arts. He had been the academy’s captain of the basketball team, on the football team, the wrestling team, and the track and field team. In addition, he worked as an editor-in-chief of the academy’s newspaper. Moore received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies and Economics and the Phi Beta Kappa key from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 2001. Three years later, in 2004, he was named a Rhodes scholar and earned a Master of Letters (a postgraduate degree) in International Relations from Oxford University in Oxford, England.

The following year in 2005, he became a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. Afterward, in 2006, he was selected as a White House fellow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

On July 6, 2006, Wes and Dawn Chanté Flythe, the daughter of Pandora Flythe of Queens, New York, and Earl Flythe, were married at the National City Christian Church in Washington, DC. They are the parents of Mia Moore and James Moore.

From 2007 to 2012, Moore was an Investment banker with Deutsche Bank in London and Citigroup in New York. During this period, Moore, who had been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and The New York Times, penned his first book, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, which became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller about two boys with the same name and connected to the turmoil of street life of Baltimore. In 2015, his first Young Adult novel, This Way Home, was published.

Photograph by Maryland GovPics, courtesy Wikimedia Commons under cc-by-2.0 license
Wes Moore being sworn in as Governor of Maryland with family, January 18, 2023

In 2017, Moore was appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of the Robin Hood Foundation, a poverty-fighting nonprofit organization funding schools, food pantries, and shelters in New York City. He was the foundation’s first CEO.

In 2022, Moore, the Democratic Party nominee for the position of Governor of Maryland, receiving 1,271,711 (66.4% of the vote) and defeating Republican Dan Cox, who received 640,817 (32.5% of the vote), thus making him the first Black governor of the state and the third Black person elected as governor of a U.S. state.

In addition to strong community support across the board, Moore was endorsed by the 76,000-strong state teachers union and the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police.

Westley Watende Omari Moore assumed his official duties as Governor of Maryland on January 18, 2023.