DBT40 Honoree: Daniel Walker
Title: Chief of Staff
Workplace: Wilmington City Council
Fun fact about Daniel Walker: he has watched the television show “The West Wing,” start to finish seven times.
That’s fitting for the chief of staff for the Wilmington City Council, who serves as the top liaison between the 13 council members and the city government agencies. At 29, he is believed to be the youngest chief of staff in the city’s history.
Since childhood, Walker was taught that he has a responsibility to give back to the community and he has since dedicated his professional life to fulfilling that mission. After working in U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester’s office, he was hired by DelawareCAN, a nonprofit that advocates for a high-quality education for every Delaware student. Eventually, he worked his way to the executive director role.
During his tenure, Walker assisted with a student-led report on diversifying the teaching profession and led the inaugural TEDxWilmington ED to showcase new trends in the education sector. He also managed the nonprofit’s political action committee, which led to an 85% win rate of its supported candidates in elections.
Walker has leveraged that political acumen to the city council that represents Delaware’s largest and most diverse city. Since he was brought on in January, he has broadened the council’s presence on all channels. Walker has also helped shepherd legislation for disparity studies and secured funding for anti-violence measures in Wilmington’s operating budget.
Walker started volunteering with the Jaycees when he was a University of Delaware student, where he first saw the impact of direct service on marginalized communities. He continues to serve on many organizations, including as the chair of the steering committee of Planned Parenthood Delaware and on the board of the Delaware Young Democrats, where he founded the Minority Caucus. He also helped establish the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Young Professional Dover Chapter to expand the organization’s presence downstate.