Luther H. Hodges Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of National Bank of Washington, has been named chairman of the Washington/Baltimore Regional Association (W/BRA) for 1985-86.

Hodges, who served as W/BRA's co-chairman for the past year, succeeds H. Furlong Baldwin, chairman of the Mercantile Safe Deposit and Trust Co. Hodges was elected chairman at W/BRA's annual meeting last week.

Succeeding Hodges as co-chairman will be J. Henry Butta, vice president of Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co.

The W/BRA is a nonprofit alliance of The Greater Washington Board of Trade and the Maryland Economic Growth Associates. The groups work together to promote economic development in the Baltimore-Washington area.

In accepting his new post, Hodges pledged to continue W/BRA's "effective and credible role in broadening the understanding of the Baltimore-Washington marketplace and the business opportunities it presents."

He said W/BRA also will conduct a mid-decade economic analysis of the Baltimore-Washington market and a fall program targeted to selected business executives with new investments in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Hodges has served as chairman of NBW and its parent, Washington Bancorp., since 1979. Since then, NBW has recovered from a string of earnings losses and adverse publicity resulting from a series of questionable loans. Those loans and other activities prompted federal regulators to order changes in the bank's operation and leadership in 1980.

More recently, Hodges has become part of an investor group that has arranged to buy control of the bank company from the United Mine Workers of America for $70 million.

Hodges, 47, is a director of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and a member of the Federal City Council. He has served as chairman of the Mayor's Downtown Committee and currently is vice chairman of the Greater Washington Research Center. He also serves on the boards of a number of companies and as a trustee for various universities and colleges.

Other officers elected at W/BRA's annual meeting last week include: Leslie B. Disharoon, chairman and president of Monumental Corp., vice chairman for Maryland affairs; Edmund B. Cronin Jr., president and chief executive officer of Smithy Braedon Co., vice chairman for District and federal affairs; and P. Wesley Foster Jr., president of Long & Foster Realtors, vice chairman for Virginia affairs.