Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

A Montgomery County business owner and social scientist who unsuccessfully ran for the Maryland House of Delegates will fill a state Board of Education seat vacated by S. James Gates Jr., a highly respected physicist and professor who resigned to protest an order by Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to start schools after Labor Day.

Rose M. Li, a Republican who lives in Bethesda, became an acting member of the 12-member board Nov. 1, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office confirmed Thursday. The permanent appointment must be approved by the state Senate during the 2017 legislative session.

The board has grappled with how to deal with the Hogan’s executive order on the school calendar. Gates, who resigned last week, said the order impinged on the authority of the state board, which is supposed to be independent.

Li is president of Rose Li and Associates Inc., which provides project management support. She ran for the House of Delegates in the three-member 16th legislative district, which includes Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Glen Echo, Potomac, and Rockville. Li took 13 percent of the vote, finishing fourth.

Li, who received her doctorate from Princeton University, has completed research in population studies and demographics and bilingualism. She also served on Hogan’s transition team.

“Over the course of her long and diverse career, Ms. Li has proven that she has the right combination of experience, knowledge, and dedication to guide and improve education policy in our state. The governor is very confident that she will be a strong and loyal advocate for the students of Maryland,” Shareese N. Churchill, Hogan’s spokeswoman, said in a statement.

News of Li’s appointment first became public Thursday after she updated her resume on LinkedIn and her biography on her company website.

She did not respond to a phone call for comment.