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Attorney General Biden Appoints New Chief of Staff

Date Posted: Tuesday, December 11th, 2007
Categories:  Civil Department of Justice Press Releases

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Wilmington, DE – Today Attorney General Joseph R. Biden, III announced that he has appointed Teresa Mason as Chief of Staff of the Delaware Department of Justice, effective January, 2008. In that position Ms. Mason will direct the Department’s Administrative Division, which includes all Human Resources, Operations, Fiscal, Information Technology, Public Information, Legislative Affairs, and External Relations functions.

“I am delighted to welcome Teresa Mason to my leadership team,” said Attorney General Biden. “She brings an impressive record of success prosecuting crime and solving complex challenges. Teresa exhibits the skill, intellect, and vision to be a leader in an organization with the size and diverse programs of the Delaware Department of Justice. I will draw heavily on Teresa’s experiences and ideas as the Department builds on our success in the crime fight and develops new collaborations to protect Delaware’s communities and families.”

Ms. Mason comes to the Delaware Department of Justice after a distinguished career in the public and private sectors. From 1982-2000 Ms. Mason worked for the State and City of New York, where she prosecuted criminals, managed large staffs and budgets, developed innovative programs, and led multiagency collaborations. From 1982-1988 she served as a trial attorney, supervising trial attorney, and Deputy Bureau Chief in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. From 1988-1995 she worked in the State’s Department of Taxation and Finance, first as Director of the Revenue Crimes Bureau, then as Assistant Deputy Commissioner, and later as Special Counsel for Adjudications for the New York City Department of Finance before then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani named her Sheriff for the City of New York in 1996. As the City’s Chief Civil Law Enforcement Officer, Ms. Mason directed a 300-person staff and $14 million budget. During her tenure, she led efforts to collaborate across agencies, increased child support collection, initiated a vehicle identification program, and re-invented the public complaint response system.

In 2000, Ms. Mason joined MBNA America Bank and served until 2005 in several senior management positions, including Executive Vice President of the institution’s Personnel, Compliance, and Government Affairs Divisions. Her last role was Vice President of Homeland Security for Systems Applications and Technologies, Inc., a professional services firm specializing in engineering technical services, investigative services, security services, and facilities management. “I look forward to returning to public service,” Ms. Mason stated, “and it is my privilege to join Attorney General Biden’s team of talented professionals who continue to strive to improve the safety and quality of life for all Delawareans.”

Ms. Mason received her law degree from Howard University School of Law (JD 1982) and her undergraduate degree from St. John’s University (BS 1979). She currently serves as a Trustee of St. John’s University. She is a past member of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Delaware Humanities Forum, and Special Olympics Delaware Board and she previously served as President of the Black Bar Association of Bronx County. Ms. Mason is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from St. John’s University. Ms. Mason follows Jennifer D. Oliva as Chief of Staff. Ms. Oliva, a Delaware native, has served since January, 2007 as the Department’s first Chief of Staff. Ms. Oliva graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point as a Truman Scholar. She was awarded the highly prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and studied at Oxford University, where she received her MBA. Ms. Oliva then served as a Military Police officer before retiring from the Army as a Captain. In 2004, Ms. Oliva received her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

Ms. Oliva will remain at the Delaware Department of Justice as Deputy State Solicitor in the Civil Division. In that position she will supervise and manage all civil litigation, including all civil appeals; direct complex multi-state litigation and civil enforcement actions; manage the day-to-day administration of the Civil Division, including outside counsel relationships; administer statewide Freedom of Information Act advice and enforcement; and assist the State Solicitor in providing advice to state agencies.
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