Governor Announces Senior Staff Changes

Chief of Staff Thomas McGonigle moves to Delaware office of Drinker Biddle
Chief Legal Counsel Michael Barlow named new Chief of Staff

Wilmington — Governor Jack Markell announces that his Chief of Staff since 2009, Thomas P. McGonigle, will be leaving his administration to return to private law practice and join the law firm of Drinker Biddle. The Governor has named Michael A. Barlow, who has been serving as the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel since January 2009, as his new Chief of Staff. The change provides a seamless transition in staffing for the Governor’s new term beginning in January.

“Tom’s leadership, sound judgment, and intelligence have been guiding forces in my Administration for the last four years,” said Governor Markell. “When Tom took the job as Chief of Staff, we were facing grueling economic challenges and he helped us navigate through those extremely difficult circumstances. Tom has proven repeatedly his willingness and ability to work through difficult issues and I am grateful for his service. I welcome Mike to his new role with great confidence in his leadership abilities. Mike has capably handled policy and legal issues and is well-positioned to move into the role of Chief of Staff.”

McGonigle was appointed as the Governor’s Chief of Staff in January 2009. Early in the administration, McGonigle helped the Governor select his senior staff and Cabinet, facilitate administrative changes and address state fiscal issues. Over the last four years, he played the leading role in managing the Governor’s office staff and Cabinet while supporting the Governor’s work on job creation, improving Delaware’s schools and making state government more efficient.

“Working closely with the Governor and his team has been an incredible experience,” said McGonigle. “I will miss the excitement, challenges and special camaraderie of the Governor’s Office, yet I look forward to returning to the private sector.”

McGonigle previously worked as managing partner of the Delaware office of Wolf Block LLP and as Chief Legal Counsel, Policy Director to former Delaware Governor (and now U.S. Senator) Thomas R. Carper and is a former Deputy Attorney General. He is a graduate of The Dickinson School of Law (J.D., 1992) and Elizabethtown College.

The Governor has named Michael A. Barlow, who has been serving as Chief Legal Counsel, to be the new Chief of Staff. Barlow has been responsible for providing legal advice to the Governor on legislation, litigation, appointments and policy matters. Since 2010, he has also served as policy director, responsible for developing and implementing the Governor’s policy directives and legislative agendas.

“It is a privilege to serve this Governor and I look forward to doing so in a new capacity,” said Barlow. “The Governor remains focused on making Delaware the best place to start and grow a business and raise a family, and I look forward to continuing that important work as the Governor moves into his second term.”

Prior to entering public service, Barlow practiced corporate litigation with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in Wilmington. He is a graduate of St. Mark’s High School, the University of Delaware, and Harvard Law School. The staffing changes become effective Monday, December 3, 2012.