WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Delaware’s Congressional Delegation of Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congressman John Carney (all D-Del.) congratulate Dr. William McGowan on being named USDA Rural Development State Director for Delaware and Maryland. He replaces Jack Tarburton who retired last year.
“The USDA Rural Development State Director position is an important leadership role in Delaware and Bill is the right person for the job,” said Sen. Carper. “His vast experience at the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension as an agent and working in rural areas of Delaware since the ’80’s, are among the many reasons I am confident Bill will work diligently to help fulfill the USDA Rural Development’s mission of making rural America a healthy, safe, and prosperous place to live and work.”
“Whether by developing infrastructure, providing housing options or access to business grants and loans, USDA Rural Development is an integral resource for keeping rural Delaware thriving,” said Sen. Coons. “Bill McGowan’s distinguished career at University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, coupled with his extensive experience as a community leader, is an ideal fit for the agency. Congratulations to Bill and continued success of improving the lives of so many people on the Delmarva Peninsula.”
“Bill is a great fit to lead Delaware’s USDA Rural Development Office,” said Congressman Carney. “Throughout his career, especially with his time at the University of Delaware, Bill has gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience on issues like water quality, land use, and economic development that are so important to our state. I look forward to working with him to serve the needs of Delaware’s agricultural community.”
McGowan was born and raised in Sussex County, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware in 1973 with a Bachelors of Science degree in plant science. In 1995, Bill received his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and in 2004 his Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership – Administration and Policy, both from the University of Delaware. Early in his career, Bill managed Southern States Cooperative in Laurel from 1980 to 1984 and the Coastal Nurseries Incorporated from 1984 to 1989 before joining the University of Delaware as a Cooperative Extension agent.
McGowan served as co-director of the Sustainable Coastal Communities Program, a partnership that included the Sea-Grant Marine Advisory Service, the Institute for Public Administration and Delaware Cooperative Extension, which focused on public issues in Delaware. His 24-year extension career focused on helping people work through complex public issues.
He has been an instructor for the LEADelaware program, a senior fellow with the Institute for Public Administration and a founding board member of the Sussex Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC), a 501c3 focused on creating sustainable economic prosperity. He also served as board member for many years on the Sussex Conservation District and Center for the Inland Bays.