“Thank you to the members of the Delaware Senate for confirming a group of dedicated public servants to positions in my Cabinet. We will get to work immediately to confront Delaware’s budget challenges, create good-paying jobs, invest in our transportation infrastructure, lower healthcare costs, protect Delaware’s children and make common sense reforms to our criminal justice system. We look forward to working with members of both parties in the General Assembly on these and other issues facing our state.”
The Delaware Senate voted to confirm the following nominees to Governor Carney’s Cabinet on Wednesday:
Jeffrey Bullock was confirmed to continue serving as Secretary of State, where he oversees the most diverse department in state government with eighteen different agencies, including the divisions of Corporations, Historic and Cultural Affairs, Arts, Libraries, Veterans, and Professional Regulation. Governor Jack Markell nominated Secretary Bullock to become Delaware’s 80th Secretary of State in January 2009.
During his tenure, Secretary Bullock has helped enhance Delaware’s reputation as an international leader in corporate governance and company formations have grown by nearly forty percent to 1.2 million, generating annual revenues of over $1.1 billion. In addition, under Secretary Bullock’s leadership the state has reached record levels of investment in the arts, library construction, and historic preservation. Secretary Bullock also serves on the Board of Pardons and as the chairman of the Diamond State Port Corporation, which owns and operates the Port of Wilmington. He is a former governor’s chief of staff and chief administrative officer for New Castle County.
Mike Jackson was confirmed as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, a position that oversees development of the State of Delaware’s annual budget, while also managing human resources across state government, the state’s pension investments, benefit plans for state employees, state facilities and government support services.
Jackson previously served as Deputy Controller General for the State of Delaware, working within the General Assembly to provide operating and capital budget analysis for the Joint Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Capital Improvement. Jackson is a former Budget Director for the University of Delaware and Associate Secretary for Finance and Administrative Services for the Delaware Department of Education. Previously, he spent 11 years with the Office of Management and Budget, ultimately serving as Director of Budget Development, Planning and Administration.
Richard J. “Rick” Geisenberger was confirmed as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Finance, the state’s Chief Financial Officer responsible for tax collections, economic and fiscal policy and management of the state’s financial resources.
Geisenberger had been Delaware’s Chief Deputy Secretary of State, where he managed and marketed the Division of Corporations. Delaware is an international leader in corporate governance, and the corporate home to two-thirds of the Fortune 500. Since Geisenberger was appointed to lead the division in 2001, active companies have increased 140 percent and corporate franchise revenue has grown an average of more than 5 percent each year to $1.1 billion.
Jennifer Cohan was confirmed to continue serving as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation, overseeing the maintenance and improvement of Delaware’s roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure. Governor Jack Markell appointed Secretary Cohan in January 2015 to lead DelDOT after eight years as Director of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles.
Secretary Cohan’s career in state government spans more than 25 years. She managed the Clean Water Program at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; worked within the Delaware General Assembly at the Office of the Controller General; and has held several leadership positions at DelDOT. Secretary Cohan is an adjunct professor at Wilmington University and serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Greater Dover Boys and Girls Club.
Perry Phelps was confirmed as Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction, where he will lead Delaware’s correctional system and help advise the governor on criminal justice policy. Phelps has served as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Correction since January 2015, helping oversee a department with more than 2,500 employees that supervises more than 6,500 inmates in the state’s correctional facilities.
Phelps previously served as Bureau Chief of Prisons for the department. From January 2008 to July 2013, he was the Warden of James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, the state’s largest Level V correctional center. Earlier, he worked for the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families as Deputy Director and later as Director of the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services, overseeing the safety, security and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. Phelps is an adjunct instructor at Wilmington University in the College of Social and Behavioral Science and the College of Business.
Dr. Kara Odom Walker was confirmed as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, the state’s public health agency that is charged with keeping Delawareans healthy and providing Delaware families with essential social services, including mental health and substance abuse treatment.
Dr. Walker previously was the Deputy Chief Science Officer at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization in Washington that is authorized by Congress to improve evidence available to help patients, caregivers, employers, insurers and policymakers make informed healthcare decisions. She has managed the Institute’s research investments, which total $1.6 billion to date toward a planned total of $2.5 billion as of 2019.
Josette DelleDonne Manning was confirmed as Secretary of the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, an agency tasked with coordinating services for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.
Manning had been a prosecutor for the Delaware Department of Justice for 16 years, conducting more than 75 trials during that time, prosecuting crimes from misdemeanors to capital murder. She served as director of the Special Victims Unit, overseeing prosecution of all child abuse, child death and sex crime cases statewide.