Credit: Photo from Montgomery County

The Montgomery County’s department of Alcohol Beverage Services will have its first female director after the County Council approved Kathie Durbin to lead the department, which operates 26 wholesale alcohol retail stores.

Durbin has served as acting director for ABS the last four months. She succeeds former director Bob Dorfman, who decided in mid-December to leave the position.

Dorfman, who served in the position for four years, said at the time that he was not pressured to resign. Buying a house in Florida and the COVID-19 pandemic were factors in his decision, he said.

Before Durbin stepped in as acting director, she served as division chief of licensure, regulation and education. She began working with the department in 2002 as a community outreach manager.

The county did not immediately provide information in response to Bethesda Beat’s request for Durbin’s salary and benefits.

Durbin previously was executive director of the Montgomery County Restaurant Association.

She is the president of the Maryland Alcohol Licensing Association and a member of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association Regulatory Committee, the Responsible Hospitality Institute, and the Responsible Retailing Forum.

County Executive Marc Elrich, who nominated Durbin for the position, said in a news release Tuesday afternoon that her passion for her work, community partnerships and economic growth would “help our County advance and rebuild when we need it most.”

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at