Dr. Brenda J. Thiam was born and raised in Raeford, North Carolina. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in physical education from North Carolina Central University, her master’s from the University of Maryland (College Park) in special education, her doctorate in special education leadership from Capella University and her post-doctorate certificate in applied behavior analysis from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Thiam was appointed by Governor Larry Hogan in 2020 as the first African American woman to serve in the Maryland General Assembly in the Republican Caucus. She served as a state delegate in legislative district 2B from October 2020-November 2022. Dr. Thiam worked diligently on the judiciary committee and was the deputy minority whip. Though she ran a vigorous campaign to keep the seat as the state delegate in 2022, she didn’t win but continues to remain active in politics and in her community.
Dr. Thiam taught special education for several years for students with autism, and she was an education director at a nonpublic school. She and her husband established Oasis Community Support Services, which will provide residential and supported employment services to adults with autism in the Washington County area.
Dr. Thiam has volunteered with the Washington County Commission for Women and served as president of the commission. She has volunteered in various capacities including — but not limited to — Washington County Commission on Aging and Partners In Care. She’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a member of the Maryland Federation of Republican Women. Dr. Thiam was selected to serve on the Budget Advisory Review Committee for Washington County Public Schools. She’s married to Malick, and they have one daughter and two fur babies. Dr. Thiam is an active member of Zion Baptist Church where the pastor is Rev. Rickey Smith, Sr.
Her favorite Scripture is John 15:7 — “if ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” — and she encourages us to go boldly to God and wait expectantly for His answer. Her new life’s motto is that if you desire to toughen your skin to see what you’re really made of, step outside of your comfort zone and run for an elected office. Though such experiences can toughen your skin, it’s humbling to serve your constituents and help them solve problems that they see as unsolvable.