PA-Gov: Wolf Nominates Patrick McDonnell As Permanent DEP Secretary

patrick-mcdonnellTom Wolf announced today that he is nominating Patrick McDonnell to be permanent Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

McDonnell has been serving as Acting DEP Secretary since John Quigley was forced out last May.

“In his acting capacity and throughout his career, Patrick has been a dedicated steward of the environment and a leader in advancing Pennsylvania’s energy development in a responsible way,” Governor Wolf said. “I trust Patrick to lead the Department of Environmental Protection in a way that protects our commonwealth’s land, water and air and ensures the department continues to make progress in the areas of innovation, responsible development and working with legislators, industry and advocates in a collaborative and productive way.”

The Wolf Administration provided the following biographical information on McDonnell:

Prior to his appointment as Acting Secretary, Patrick McDonnell was most recently the director of policy for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, where he oversaw the agency’s regulation and policy development processes. In addition, Mr. McDonnell ran the State Energy Office and was charged with coordination of renewable energy and energy efficiency issues.

Prior to returning to DEP, Mr. McDonnell was executive policy manager for former Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, focusing on electric, natural gas and water issues as well as cybersecurity and the impact of environmental regulation on energy markets.

Previously, Mr. McDonnell spent 13 years with DEP in a variety of roles. As deputy secretary for administration, he managed the budget, human resources, information technology and oversaw the facilities management functions of the agency. He also previously served as policy director and as an assistant to the special deputy secretary. He began his career at DEP working in the State Energy Office on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green building projects.

Mr. McDonnell received his Master’s degree in Political Science from Lehigh University and his Bachelor’s Degree in Politics from DeSales University.

5 Responses

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  2. Observer – you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about whatsoever. McDonnell is a career guy: he went into civil service immediately after graduating. I don’t think he’s ever staffed a campaign in his life. He went from OA to DEP and, but for a brief stint at PUC, has been at DEP since 1998. He started off in programs and moved his way up into management. The guy knows the department well and worked his way up from the bottom: this was a meritocratic decision. Gov. Wolf probably respected that as a special qualification as he worked his way up the Wolf Organization from forklift driver to president, but unlike Wolf, McDonnell didn’t have the benefit of an assumption that he would one day take over.

  3. The guy has zero Science in his background whatsoever – lotsa politics, though! And that is all that matters in a Wolf Administration.

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