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photo of Mike Morton at his deskMike Morton

IPA alumnus is new Delaware Controller General

Delaware Controller General Mike Morton (MPA ’86) has been on the road to his current position since before getting his graduate degree. Through the Institute for Public Administration (IPA), Mike had interned with the Controller General’s office while working on his MPA and was employed jointly for two years by IPA and the Office of the Controller General following graduation.

Mike has steadily climbed through the ranks over the past 26 years—being hired as a Legislative Analyst in 1988, receiving a promotion to Senior Legislative Analyst, then working 15 years of those years as the state’s Chief of Fiscal Policy beginning in 1996. Late in 2011, he was named Deputy Controller General, and, with the retirement of Russell T. Larson, took the reigns as Controller General in July of 2012.

“The Office of the Controller General provides analyses of operating and capital budgets to the Joint Finance Committee and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Capital Improvement Program,” Morton explains. “The Office also operates the Legislative Information System. The Legislative Information System contains information on all legislation of the General Assembly, including daily House and Senate Agendas and House and Senate Ready Lists. The Controller General reports directly to Legislative Council, a joint committee comprising the leaders of both houses of the Legislature.”

Morton credits the integrated nature of the graduate education and professional experience he received at the School of Public Policy & Administration with preparing him for work at the state level.

“For me, the ability to network with state officials critically complemented ‘book learning,’” Morton says. In particular, he noted how well connected IPA Director Jerome Lewis is and how important a mentor Dr. Lewis was in helping him become familiar with people at the state level and begin cultivating those relationships.

“My biggest challenge now,” Morton says of his new position, “is learning to delegate, as I’ve been so ‘hands-on’ for so long.”  He says he’ll miss dealing on a day-to-day basis with policy matters in public education and higher education, as well as being the Bond Bill coordinator, which had been his assignments for some 18 years.

A Delaware native, Mike currently lives in Magnolia with wife, Karen, of 16 years who works for the State Treasurer’s Office. They have two children, Michael (24) and Philip (19).

One can hardly imagine anyone better suited to be in this public service role.

photo by Stephanie Patterson