Date Posted: Wednesday, December 16th, 2020



For more information, please contact Helen Wiles at 





DOVER, DE—Mayor and MPO Council Chair Robin Christiansen announced today that Marilyn J. Smith has been named the new Executive Director of the Dover/Kent County MPO.


“We are thrilled to announce Marilyn Smith as our new Executive Director for the Dover/Kent MPO,” Christiansen said. “Marilyn’s years of leadership and economic development experience were important factors in her selection but even more important to us was her obvious love and appreciation for the people and communities that make Dover and Kent County such a special place. The board and I are confident that she and our capable MPO staff will build on the great work Reed Macmillan has done and will help bring our community’s vision for transportation improvement and sustainable business growth to life.”


Smith’s 30-year career has included prominent roles in public, private, and nonprofit leadership and economic development, with project management experience building public-private partnerships, leading strategic planning initiatives, and visioning for community development. Helen Wiles, MPO public outreach manager, endorsed the hire saying, “Marilyn is going to be instrumental in taking the MPO to the next level.”


Smith is hitting the ground running and will spend her first 30 days on the job working side-by-side with retiring Executive Director Reed Macmillan. Macmillan has served as Executive Director since October of 2017 and announced last month that he would be stepping down at the end of the year. “I have enjoyed my past three years working as your Executive Director and now look forward to enjoying my military retirement,” he said.


For her part, Smith says she is eager to build on the MPO’s successes and planning already in place. “I’m excited to work with our exceptional staff, Council, and committees to build on their many successes, especially in the development and implementation of Innovation 2045. Our region will continue to face challenges as our nation navigates the hardship of a global pandemic. But this community is strong, our leaders are honest and capable, and our businesses and employees are extraordinary. Together, we can rise to this and any occasion and achieve the vision we share for Dover and Kent County’s bright future.” 


Smith is relocating to Delaware from Johnstown, New York. She points to a personal visit to Delaware for a family celebration in 2018 as the spark that ignited her love for the state. “I went back to New York, but my heart stayed here,” she said.


Smith has a B.S. in Political Science from Weber State University and an MPA from the University of Utah. She is an adjunct faculty member at Excelsior College and Purdue Global University. Her past roles include Senior Economic Development Advisor for U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko from 2012 to 2020 and Executive Director for Cornell University Cooperative Extension in Fulton and Montgomery Counties from 2000 to 2012.


Smith and her team will continue to engage with stakeholders to advance the important vision and values that will shape the future of transportation in Dover and Kent County, with an enduring commitment to maintaining accessibility and transparency. The public is always encouraged to attend MPO meetings; schedules and registration information are available at and on Facebook and Twitter at @doverkentmpo.




The Dover/Kent County MPO is the federally designated agency responsible for coordinating transportation planning and programming in Kent County, Delaware. Plans and programs adopted by the MPO outline how federal transportation funds will be spent and must comply with federal laws governing clean air, environmental justice, and transportation performance measurement. For more information on the MPO, please contact Helen Wiles at



Photo: Marilyn J. Smith