Dr. Mark Brainard
President, Delaware Technical Community College
Dr. Mark T. Brainard, a proud graduate of Delaware Tech, was appointed the College’s fifth president on August 4, 2014. Previously, Brainard spent over three decades in a series of executive-level leadership roles in the higher education, business, government, and legislative arenas in Delaware. One of his priorities as president is to employ his knowledge, experience, and leadership skills to ensure that today’s students continue to receive the same foundation and opportunities he received as a student of the College over three decades ago.
After earning an associate degree in criminal justice from Delaware Tech in 1981 and a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Wilmington University in 1983, Brainard embarked upon a career in public service that began in the Delaware legislature, where he ultimately served as chief of staff for the House Minority Caucus for seven years. In 1991, he began attending law school part time while continuing to work full time.
He left the legislature in 1993 when he was appointed director of external affairs at the Delaware Department of Transportation. After his graduation from Widener Law School in 1994, Brainard was named assistant vice president for personnel and legal affairs at Delaware Tech, where he managed all human resources programs and provided legal counsel regarding employment law and students’ rights issues.
In 1999, he became executive vice president of the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, where he managed the overall operations of the 3,000-member, 22-employee organization with a budget of $3 million. He left the Chamber in 2002 to serve as Governor Ruth Ann Minner’s chief of staff. In spite of a difficult economy, he helped to develop aggressive agendas, which led to the passage of landmark legislation such as the Student Excellence Equals Degrees (SEED) scholarship; the Delaware Cancer Treatment program; workers’ compensation reform; and a series of education initiatives including the statewide implementation of full-day kindergarten and the placement of reading and math specialists in public schools.
At the end of the governor’s term, he returned to Delaware Tech and served in a number of leadership positions until he was appointed president of the College in 2014. In a short time, he has implemented a number of initiatives, including creating a collegewide culture that embraces innovation; developing a statewide program for high school students to address the manufacturing skills gap in Delaware; and establishing a variety of support programs for veterans, earning the College its “Military Friendly School” designation for five years in a row.
Brainard is a member of the Delaware Business Roundtable, the Delaware Workforce Development Board, and the Phi Theta Kappa Advisory Board. He is also an Honorary Commander with the Delaware National Guard and serves on the board of directors for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, First State Innovation, and United Way Delaware.