Gov. John Carney on Friday announced the retirement of Jennifer Cohan, secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation. She has worked for the state for 31 years.
Carney said he will Deputy DelDOT secretary Nicole Majeski to replace Cohan. The Delaware Senate must confirm that nomination.
Cohan is the second cabinet secretary to announce she is leaving her position this year. Dr. Kara Odom Walker, secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Human Services, left July 31 to work for Nemours health system in Washington, D.C.
Cohan will serve through October, when she will join Leadership Delaware as chief executive officer.
“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,” Carney said in a press release. “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.”
Cohan said in the release that it had been an honor and privilege to serve.
Former Gov. Jack Markell praised Cohan’s choice for head of Leadership Delaware in a press release from that group.
“It’s hard to imagine that Leadership Delaware could have found a better new CEO,” Markell said. “Jen Cohan knows Delaware inside and out, is well-respected throughout our state and knows how to get the very best out of herself and everybody around her.
Majeski has served as the deputy secretary since 2011. She worked for New Castle County government as chief of staff to then-County Executive Chris Coons. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware. Majeski lives in Middletown with her husband, Ari Messinger, and their two sons.
“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,” Majeski said.
Cohan was appointed by then-Governor Jack Markell in January 2015, becoming the third woman to serve as secretary in the department’s 100-year history.
She also has managed the state’s clean water program at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and worked as a budget analyst for the General Assembly in the Office of the Controller General.