Kara Coats was named Deputy Secretaryof the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control in November 2014. Ms. Coats provides support to the Department Secretary and DNREC’s division directors on permitting, compliance, enforcement and planning. As the Department's policy coordinator, she facilitates the development of DNREC’s annual legislative agenda, prepares legislation, serves as contact with the Governor’s Office on policy issues and represents the Department at Legislative Hall.
Deputy Sec. Coats’ previous experience includes working as Senior Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Wilmington, where she was responsible for handling environmental matters including the city’s stormwater utility. Other responsibilities included coordinating management of city-owned brownfields; developing environmental compliance protocols, and handling contract review and negotiation for electricity procurement, leases and professional services. Ms. Coats also managed Wilmington’s environmental litigation and drafted numerous ordinances in conjunction with the Mayor’s office and City Council. Prior to employment with the City of Wilmington, she worked in private legal practice, including with the Philadelphia firm of Manko, Gold, Katcher and Fox, LLP, where she counseled commercial and industrial clients on various environmental regulatory issues.
DNREC Deputy Secretary Coats holds a J.D. and M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University, with a B.A. from Wake Forest University, and has served as an adjunct professor at Neumann College. She also has served as a board member of the Brandywine Valley Association and the Christina River Conservancy. Kara and her husband reside in Wilmington and love Wilmington State Park. She enjoys the outdoors through running, birdwatching, biking, fishing for (and releasing the occasional) very small fish, and riding horses.