About Gabe

The son of immigrants, a lifelong resident of Montgomery County, and a devoted husband and father of four— Gabe has dedicated over 23 years to public service advocating for youth, seniors, and all vulnerable populations.

Humble Beginnings

Born at Holy Cross Hospital, Gabe is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County. His father immigrated from Ecuador, and his mother immigrated from Chile. Both attended Montgomery College and instilled in Gabe the importance of education and treating all with dignity and respect. Gabe is a product of Montgomery County Public Schools and graduated from Walt Whitman High School. He received his BA in Communication from the University of Maryland and attended night classes to earn his MBA from the John Hopkins University.

Gabe is truly “at-large,” having lived in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Bethesda; and now, Kensington, where he lives with his wife Catherine— also a Montgomery County native— and their four children and rescue dog, Coco.

Gabe and his parents at Gabe's graduation

Early Servant Leadership

Gabe began his career as a Community Relations Manager at the Children's National Hospital, where he directed city-wide immunization campaigns for children and helped open pediatric health clinics in Wards 8 and 9. He then served as Deputy Director for the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC), where he launched the Gang Intervention Partnership in Langley Park and opened new LAYC offices in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

In 2007, Gabe became the youngest-ever cabinet-level appointee in our county’s history when former County Executive Ike Leggett appointed him as Director of the Recreation Department. In this role, he managed a $37 million annual budget with more than 3,000 employees and 41 recreation facilities.  He led the department through the “Great Recession” and navigated an austere fiscal environment, while building a reputation for fairness, steady leadership, and innovation. Under his guidance, the department expanded its community outreach to vulnerable populations and created effective programs such as Excel Beyond the Bell, TeenWorks, and Tech Connect, which helped close the achievement and opportunity gap for thousands of young and senior residents. During his tenure, the department received 41 state and national awards for excellence.

Gabe is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery and the Presidential Leadership Scholars program— a joint effort by the William J. Clinton, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Foundations. He was the first Latino to be elected Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and has served on over 39 boards and appointed commissions at the county, state, and national levels.

Gabe and Ike Leggett

Building Bridges Through Strong Governance

In 2018, Gabe was elected as an At-Large member of the Montgomery County Council. He quickly stepped up into leadership roles, first as Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, and now as Council President.

Throughout the pandemic, Gabe worked tirelessly behind-the-scenes to shape prudent policies that kept our case counts and positivity rates among the lowest in the nation. An authentic listener and proven leader, Gabe brought together government, nonprofit, and community leaders together to build strong coalitions that helped Montgomery County achieve one of the highest vaccination rates in the country at the height of the pandemic.

Among his first-term legislative accomplishments, he has:

  • Guided the recent passage of the county’s $6.3 billion Fiscal Year 2023 Operating Budget and six-year Capital Improvements Program, which includes record investment for public education and considerable resources for economic development;
  • Fought for minority health initiatives including co-sponsoring the award-winning Por Nuestra Salud y Bien Estar, which fully integrated health resources in Spanish;
  • Spearheaded groundbreaking legislation to ban the sale of ghost guns to minors and prevent vape shops from selling e-cigarettes near schools;
  • Co-established an independent, public-private Early Care and Education Coordinating Entity to improve and increase supports for our youngest residents and their families;
  • Served as a lead sponsor for the county’s Guaranteed Income Pilot Program, to assist families in permanently exiting poverty;
  • Introduced a bill to require climate impact assessments on all county legislation,
  • Led the effort to establish a Sports Commission to help close the gender and racial inequities in our county’s youth activities and programs.
Gabe with the council

Seen by many as the “Heart of the Council” as well as its moral compass, Gabe strives to bring a balanced, people-centered approach to governance. The past three years have been a testament to our shared strength and courage, and now more than ever, we need trusted leadership to move the County forward.

The Albornoz Family