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DeMatteis to leave role overseeing federal stimulus to head state HR

Betsy Price Government, Headlines

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The woman in charge of overseeing how the state spends its federal stimulus money has been nominated to be secretary of the Department of Human Resources, and two people will be taking her place.

Gov. John Carney said in nominating Claire DeMatteis, now a special assistant to the governor, to head HR that he was asking A.J. Schall, director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, to manage that agency as well as implementation of American Rescue Plan Act investments.

He also will move Greg Patterson, now chief of staff at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, to his office as infrastructure implementation coordinator to manage funding received through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Claire DeMatteis smiling for the camera

Claire DeMatteis

Delaware is expected to receive more than $2 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including significant new funding for road and bridge repairs, broadband expansion, clean water projects, and electric vehicle infrastructure.

As secretary of the Department of Human Resources, DeMatteis will provide support for Delaware’s state workforce and manage recruitment and retention programs across the executive branch of state government, the press release said.

If confirmed by the Senate as DHR Secretary, DeMatteis would focus on modernizing the state workforce. That will include:

  • Recruiting a new generation of workers into state government that reflects that state’s population;
  • Addressing compensation inequities across state government agencies;
  • Increasing efforts to provide professional development and training for all state employees, including diversity and inclusion training, leadership development and mentorship programs.

“Claire has stepped up time and time again over the last five years,‚ÄĚ Carney said in the press release. A lawyer and former counsel for then-Sen. Joe Biden, she helped manage major reforms at the Department of Correction, which she led from 2019-2021, and also worked in the Department of Labor.

The press release pointed out the the federal infrastructure coordinator had urged governors this week to name implementation coordinators to oversee the new infrastructure spending.

Delaware is expected to receive more than $2 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including significant new funding for road and bridge repairs, broadband expansion, clean water projects, and electric vehicle infrastructure.

Patterson, who previously served in roles for Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Gov. Jack Markell, as well as at the state Department of Justice and Department of Insurance, will also assist in reviewing and streamlining state regulations related to economic development, consistent with the ongoing Ready in 6 initiative to advance job creation efforts.

“I’ve known A.J. and Greg for years, and both are consummate public servants who I’m confident are ready for this challenge,” Carney said in the press release.¬† “In the months ahead, A.J. and Greg will continue to manage recovery efforts and make sure we are getting stimulus dollars out the door and putting them to work for Delaware families.”

From 2008-2016, DeMatteis worked as general counsel, chief compliance officer and chief privacy officer of two multi-billion dollar corporations. DeMatteis spent four years at Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, a Mid-Atlantic law firm with offices in Wilmington. She was partner in charge of the firm’s Delaware office from 2007-2008.

While working for Biden from 1994-2004, DeMatteis served on senior team dealing with issues involving law enforcement, women’s rights, civil rights and constitutional matters. She also helped guide campaign strategy, managed constituent communications, and drafted legislation.

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