Gov. Jack Markell has announced he will nominate Deputy Secretary David Small to be secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. He will succeed Collin O’Mara, who will become president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation in July. The nomination is subject to confirmation by the Delaware State Senate.
“David’s depth of knowledge and leadership on environmental issues has helped improve the quality of life for residents and visitors of our state for nearly three decades,” said Markell. “His work at DNREC to make our state safer, cleaner and healthier has earned the respect of many, both in and out-of-state government, and his wealth of experience makes him an ideal fit to build on our efforts to address Delaware’s energy and environmental challenges.”
Small has spent the last 13 years as deputy secretary. He has served six cabinet secretaries during his DNREC career, which spans 27 years. Small also worked as executive assistant to the secretary from 1998 until 2001, having joined the department in 1987 as chief of the Office of Information and Education. During his tenure at DNREC, Small has led, coordinated and supported the development and implementation of many initiatives, including: establishment of the state’s aboveground storage tank program; enhancements of public reporting of environmental releases; development of the state’s Dam Safety program, assuring the safe operation and maintenance of regulated dams; coordination with agriculture and business communities on a wide range of state and federal regulatory updates; creation of the Inland Bays Pollution Control Strategy to reduce nutrients and improve water quality; and passage and implementation of universal recycling.
“I am incredibly honored to be nominated by Governor Markell to serve as secretary,” said Small. “If confirmed, I look forward to working with our many partners and the DNREC team to build on the successful foundation of this administration by making Delaware more resilient to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise, protecting our air, land and water quality, providing diverse and quality recreational opportunities for our citizens and visitors and preserving our open spaces and biodiversity.”
Small is a former State of Delaware Employee of the Year. He is a member of the board of directors of Wilmington’s Riverfront Development Corporation, on the board of directors of the Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club, and has represented Delaware on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. He is a past president of the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Information and Education Association. Small, 57, is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College and resides with his family in Dover.