The Bar Recognizes Vanessa S. Phillips, Esq.

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As Chief Administrative Officer of New Castle County, DE, I provide strategic counsel to the County Executive and help carry out his vision and mission. Some people say I’m fearless, but I say I’m direct, goal-oriented and not afraid to deal with hard issues. Others say I’m tough, but I say I’m a zealous advocate.

I oversee operations for several departments across the county – including the New Castle County Police, Housing, Community Services and Land Use. My job is to make sure our general managers and public safety teams have the support they need; that our public servants represent the essential integrity of their departments, and that our county endeavors are proudly implemented and achieved for Delaware’s public good.


Honesty, transparency and a belief in the value of disparate perspectives are at the foundation of the NCC leadership team. I earn people’s trust by really listening to their needs, getting to the true heart of their issue or concern, and helping them think creatively about solutions. I believe people want to be heard and know their opinion matters.

My first job out of law school was with the metropolitan police department in Washington, DC. I also come from a law enforcement family and am a former criminal prosecutor, so I understand the issues faced by our police. And my early community service work helped me relate to the challenges our hard-working community service team address daily.

Successful leaders know change happens slowly but they must value input at every step, whether they agree with it or not. The goal is to work together.

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”