Chris Coons

Chris Coons
United States Senator

After 10 years of service to Delaware's largest county, Chris Coons was elected by the people of Delaware to represent them in the United States Senate in November 2010.

Sworn-in less than two weeks later, Chris immediately got to work during the lame duck session, cosponsoring the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Chris has since built a reputation as a social progressive committed to responsible fiscal moderation eager to find pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to the nation’s most pressing challenges. Chief among his priorities is getting more Delawareansback to work — growing the economy by encouraging investments in small businesses and creating jobs.

Chris was entrusted with four critical committee assignments in the 112th Congress – Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Energy and Budget – placing him at the nexus of Democrats’ commitment to promoting American innovation and making the United States more competitive in the global market. Chris became the only freshman to be named a subcommittee chair when in February he was named chair of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.

Chris’ election to the Senate capped a decade of successful service in New Castle County government. In four years as New Castle County Council President and six years as New Castle County Executive, Chris earned a reputation for delivering real results on behalf of Delawareans. His leadership successfully protected New Castle County from the least stable national economic climate in decades. Chris balanced six budgets by eliminating wasteful spending and created jobs through innovative public/private partnerships. His Safe Streets partnership removed dangerousparole violators from our neighborhoods and cleaned up 70 of the worst county properties. He also preserved hundreds of acres of open space and fought for an independent ethics commission to make county government more transparent in its business dealings.

Chris’ has devoted much of his free time to organizations such as the National Coalition for the Homeless and the education-oriented “I Have a Dream” Foundation. He serves on several boards including First State Innovation, the Bear/Glasgow Boys & Girls Club, and the Delaware College of Art and Design. 

Prior to serving as County Executive, Chris worked as an attorney for Delaware-based W.L. Gore & Associates, one of the 200 largest privately held companies in the U.S., where he helped the company expand and create hundreds of jobs. Chris is a graduate of Amherst College with a B.A. in Chemistry and Political Science, and earned his law degree from Yale Law School and a Master's in Ethics from Yale Divinity School. Chris also studied at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

A longtime New Castle County resident, Chris grew up in the Pike Creek and Hockessin areas and lives in Wilmington with his wife, Annie, and their three children, Michael, Jack, and Maggie.

Recent Events

April 19, 2012

ITIF, Silicon Flatirons and the Technology Policy Institute host The Innovation Consensus: Economic Growth in 2013 and Beyond. Register now.

June 23, 2011

ITIF marks its 5th anniversary with a special policy forum on U.S. innovation and competitiveness.