Senator Chris Coons has earned a reputation as a principled and pragmatic lawmaker, focused on some of the most important issues confronting Delaware and the nation. Chris has emerged as a strong voice for job creation and the innovation economy, jobs, progressive social justice, and Delaware’s values.
Serving on the Appropriations, Judiciary, Foreign Relations, and Ethics committees, Chris is uniquely positioned to help nurture American innovation and make the United States more competitive in the global market. His legislative agenda has focused on job creation, leveling the playing field for clean-energy technology, expanding the impact of the research and development tax credit, and measures focused on attracting federal resources like the Violence Reduction Network to help law enforcement combat violent crime in Wilmington and the University of Delaware’s new National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals.
While much of Washington focused on the latest created crisis, Chris remains committed to finding creative solutions to address pressing issues for Delawareans. During his seven years in the Senate, Chris has:
- organized almost 40 job fairs and skills workshops to help unemployed Delawareans find work;
- founded the bipartisan Senate Law Enforcement Caucus to help strengthen local, state, and federal public safety efforts; as well as the Chicken Caucus to promote and protect the growing poultry industry in Delaware;
- launched the Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative to advance bipartisan bills that support job creation, the U.S. manufacturing sector, and entrepreneurship;
- hosted Congressional Youth Conferences for juniors and seniors in high school who are interested in pursuing public policy; and
- introduced legislation to create American Dream Accounts, which combine post-high school preparation with individual college savings accounts.
Protecting Americans’ civil liberties and our right to equal justice under the law is important to Chris. In his first full term as a senator, he:
- fought for improvements to the Affordable Care Act
- cast principled votes against reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act;
- introduced the FAST Voting Act to help states improve their elections’ administration and stop disenfranchising voters;
- co-hosted the National Prayer Breakfast
- earned the inaugural Legislative Action Award from the Bipartisan Policy Institute (2017)
- was named the third “most productive Senator” by Medill on the Hill & GovTrack (2017)
- was named one of “Eight Politicians to Make You Feel Good About Politics” by the Washington Post’s The Fix Blog
- earned a 100 percent score from the Human Rights Campaign; and
- has spoken out and fought for women’s health, access to reproductive health care, and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
Before joining the Senate, Chris spent a decade of successful service in New Castle County government. As New Castle County Council President and then New Castle County Executive, he earned a reputation for delivering real results on behalf of Delawareans, preserving critical community services while protecting the county’s finances during the least stable national economic climate in decades.
Prior to serving as county executive, Chris worked as an attorney for Delaware-based W.L. Gore & Associates, an innovative, science-based business, where he helped the company expand. Chris previously worked for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, helping at-risk youth stay in school, get to college and build their lives, and with the Coalition for the Homeless.
Senator Coons is a graduate of Amherst College with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and political science, taking a semester to study abroad at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He earned a law degree from Yale Law School while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in ethics from Yale Divinity School.
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.