DelDOT Secretary Cohan retiring in October

DOVER — Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan will become the third cabinet secretary to leave Gov. John Carney’s administration this year. The governor’s office announced Friday Ms. Cohan, who has headed DelDOT since January 2015, will officially retire from the state in October and join the nonprofit Leadership Delaware as its CEO.

Gov. Carney plans to nominate DelDOT’s deputy secretary, Nicole Majeski, to replace Ms. Cohan.

“Secretary Cohan has been a tremendous asset to our team and to the State of Delaware for more than 30 years,” Gov. Carney said in a statement. “Jen modernized the Division of Motor Vehicles as the first woman to ever lead the division, and oversaw the development of the state’s largest-ever public infrastructure program as DelDOT secretary.

Jennifer Cohan

“Her experience, intellect and depth of knowledge about how state government works will not easily be replaced. Jen also has a unique ability to lift the spirits of those around her and rally a team around a common cause. We will miss her in state government. But I’m positive she will continue to do great work on behalf of the people of Delaware.”

Prior to taking the helm at DelDOT, Ms. Cohan led the Division of Motor Vehicles and worked for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the legislative budget office.

As secretary, she is respected within Legislative Hall and credited with helping modernize DelDOT after some turmoil several years before she took over. One of the state’s largest and most visible agencies, DelDOT created the largest roadway infrastructure program in state history during Ms. Cohan’s tenure.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Delaware for the last 31 years,” Ms. Cohan said in a statement. “I am excited to take on this new challenge as CEO of Leadership Delaware to help grow our state’s up-and-coming leaders.”

She will officially join the organization on Nov. 1 and will become the full CEO on Jan. 1, succeeding Leadership Delaware co-founder Terry Strine.

Her replacement, Ms. Majeski, has served as the deputy secretary of transportation since 2011, following time as chief of staff for New Castle County’s executive. She must be confirmed by the Delaware Senate.

“I am truly humbled and incredibly honored to be nominated by Governor Carney as the next Secretary of the Department of Transportation,” Ms. Majeski said in a statement. “I am grateful to the Governor for the trust and faith he has in me to lead this agency and to serve in his Cabinet.

“It has been a privilege to work with Secretary Cohan and I am grateful for her leadership, guidance and for the inspiring way she has led our Department for the past six years with an enthusiastic spirit, a passion for innovation and an incredible commitment to customer service and our employees.”

The head of the Department of Health and Social Services departed last month, while the chief of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security stepped down to join the Department of Justice earlier this year. It’s normal to see shakeup in the governor’s cabinet at the end of the first term (Gov. Carney is seeking four more years), although the fact three secretaries will have left before the November general election is a little unusual.