Office of the Secretary
Secretary, Department of Environmental Protection
With 15 years of experience holding a number of positions at Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Patrick McDonnell brings a broad perspective to the agency’s regulatory and policy development processes.
Prior to being named Secretary, McDonnell served as DEP’s director of policy. In addition, he ran the State Energy Office, and was charged with coordination of renewable energy and energy efficiency issues. McDonnell also served several years as executive policy manager for former Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, focusing on electric, natural gas and water issues, as well as cybersecurity and the impact of environmental regulation on energy markets.
Secretary McDonnell began his career at DEP working in the State Energy Office on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green building projects. Throughout his career, McDonnell has worked to achieve success in the nexus between energy and environmental issues.
At its 25th Anniversary Fall Meeting in 2018, the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) elected McDonnell as Secretary-Treasurer.
A native of Philadelphia, Secretary McDonnell received his Master's degree in Political Science from Lehigh University and his Bachelor's degree in Politics from DeSales University. He and his wife Colleen have four children, and live in Harrisburg.