Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced changes today to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s leadership structure, selecting Steven Smailer as new director of DNREC’s Division of Water and naming Kim Siegel as chief of staff within DNREC’s Office of the Secretary.
New Director for The Division of Water, Chief of Staff Within DNREC’s Office of The Secretary
Smailer succeeds environmental scientist and wetland and stream restoration expert Virgil Holmes, who retired from DNREC after two stints with the Department totaling 15 years, including the last seven years leading the Division of Water. Smailer, a hydrogeologist, worked as an environmental program administrator in the division. He originally came into the Department and the then-Division of Water Resources in the early 1990s, then worked as a hydrogeologist for an extended period in the private sector, before returning to DNREC in 2015 as manager of the Division of Water’s Wetlands and Subaqueous Lands Section.
“Steve’s breadth of knowledge covering water resources top to bottom is unmatched,” said Secretary Garvin. “He has long been seen by peers as having a ‘most versatile player’ role for overseeing many aspects of Delaware’s most precious natural resource, our water. As the Department begins to implement Governor Carney’s Clean Water for Delaware Initiative, there couldn’t be a better choice to lead our Division of Water.”
Smailer is a Delaware-licensed professional geologist, Secretary of the Delaware Board of Geologists, a Groundwater Protection Council National Board Member, and has served as the chair of the State’s Water Supply Coordinating Council since 2017.
He is a Pennsylvania State University graduate with degrees in Earth Science/Geology and Marine Science. Smailer lives in Rehoboth Beach with his wife Laurie and their three children.