Former DNREC Secretary Exploring Run for Governor of Delaware in 2024


Image courtesy National Wildlife Federation

Former DNREC Secretary Colin O’Mara has filed a campaign committee to explore a run for Governor of Delaware in the Democratic Primary. O’Mara was DNREC Secretary under Governor Markell from 2009 to 2014. He is now the CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. O’Mara’s vision for Delaware centers on improving the Four E‚Äôs: the Economy, Education, Environment, and Equitable Access to Housing, Healthcare, and Public Safety.

Additional information from O’Mara’s release:

Collin has been encouraged to run by a growing number of Delawareans who want a campaign focused on real solutions to the immense challenges we face.

Collin has spent his career in public service leadership positions. As Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control from 2009-2014 under Governor Jack Markell, Collin led one of the most active periods in the 50-year history of the department, achieving nation-leading reductions in air pollution, enacting statewide recycling, bolstering climate resilience, building clean energy, and expanding public trails, parks, and wildlife refuges. As CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest grassroots conservation organization with 7 million members and supporters, he played a critical role in helping pass the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Jobs and Reinvestment Act, the Great American Outdoors Act, and the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act. He has helped secure hundreds of millions of dollars for Delaware to advance environmental justice, natural resource restoration, clean water, community resilience, and clean energy investments, including the recently announced award for the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub that will create thousands of union jobs in Delaware. Collin is also a youth basketball and soccer coach for his daughters’ teams (he has a mean jump shot…) and is committed to supporting all children, families, and communities throughout the state.

Collin’s vision for Delaware centers on improving the Four E‚Äôs: the Economy, Education, Environment, and Equitable Access to Housing, Healthcare, and Public Safety. He is particularly focused on creating 40,000 family-sustaining jobs by implementing President Biden’s historic Inflation Reduction Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPs and Science Act, building 21st century infrastructure, and growing key economic¬†sectors,¬†including financial services,¬†life sciences, sustainable¬†chemistry, agriculture, and tourism/hospitality. Collin has a plan to rebuild Delaware’s middle class as we become the first state to achieve 100% clean energy, first to net-zero emissions, and a national leader in advancing environmental justice. This includes aggressively removing pollution from our water, air, and soils, leading on offshore wind and solar, repowering industrial facilities and heavy transportation vehicles with green hydrogen, and investing in energy efficiency.

A resident of Bear and before that Wilmington, Collin was the youngest cabinet secretary in the nation when Governor Markell appointed him to serve as Secretary of Natural Resources in 2009 at the age of 29. In addition to his service with the State of Delaware and the National Wildlife Federation, he brings expertise in economic development (Economic Development Officer and Clean Tech Strategist for the City of San Jos√©, California) and financial management (former Assistant Budget Director for the City of Syracuse). Collin graduated from Dartmouth College and Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, before serving as a University Fellow at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. His wife Krishanti served as Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama and currently leads one of the nation‚Äôs largest immigration nonprofits. Their three daughters are 11, 6, and 7 months old.

*Note: As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, the National Wildlife Federation does not support or oppose candidates seeking elected office or any political party. References to the National Wildlife Federation are for identification purposes only.