- Spring 1979
James Gleason is the first chief executive in Montgomery County, MD in 200 years. Fresh out of law school, he worked on the legislative staff of California Senator Richard Nixon in 1951, and then in 1953 began six years as administrative assistant to Senate Majority Leader William Knowland. He spent 1958 as a consultant to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was also appointed Assistant Administrator of the new NASA program. During the 1960's Mr. Gleason became increasingly immersed in regional local government, and in 1968 was chosen to fill a vacancy on the Montgomery County Council. In 1970 Gleason was elected as the first County Executive and was re-elected in 1974.