Cleon L. Cauley, Sr., Esq., was named Chief Operating Officer of Delaware State University in January 2020, responsible and accountable for the administration, coordination, development, and implementation of all university operation activities. Prior to he served as the Vice President of Legal Affairs & General Counsel, responsible for managing the University’s legal representation in all litigation and administrative proceedings. 

Previously, Cauley founded and operated The Cauley Firm LLC, where he represented high profile criminal and civil matters.

Cauley has a wealth of private sector and governmental experience. He served as the Chief of Staff for the City of Wilmington. In that capacity, he supervised all of the City’s Departments. Prior to becoming Chief of Staff, Cauley served as Public Works Commissioner for the City of Wilmington; Deputy Legal Counsel and Policy Advisor on all land use matters for the Office of the Governor for the State of Delaware, Jack Markell; as Deputy Secretary, Acting Secretary, Chief of Real Estate, and Deputy Planning Director responsible for development coordination for the Delaware Department of Transportation; as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Delaware and as Assistant County Attorney and Land Use Attorney for New Castle County Government. 

In addition to his significant Department of Transportation and New Castle County regulatory experience, while in the Governor’s Office, Cauley managed the Office of State Planning, Chaired the Governor’s Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues, Chaired the Governor’s Supplier Diversity Council and was Delaware’s first Economic Development Ombudsman. As Ombudsman, Cauley repeatedly ensured a rapid response to economic development opportunities by serving as a liaison to businesses, communities, local economic development organizations, regulatory agencies, local governments, and state agencies such as the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. 


In private practice, Cauley served as Chair of Morris James LLP Government Relations Practice Group and as a Real Estate and Land Use Attorney for Wolfblock LLP. 

Cauley, a native of Philadelphia, graduated Cum Laude in 2000 from Immaculata University (formerly known as Immaculata College) with two Bachelor of Arts degrees, one in Psychology and the other in Business. In 2003, Cauley received his J.D. from Howard University School of Law. Cauley was admitted to the Bars of both Delaware and Pennsylvania in 2004.

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