Velda Jones-Potter has a history of ‘firsts’ in science, business and government in Delaware - the first state. On January 3, 2017, Velda was inaugurated as Treasurer for the City of Wilmington, the first woman and African-American to ever hold the office. In January 2009, Velda became the first African-American in Delaware history to hold statewide elective office when appointed State Treasurer by Governor Jack Markell.
Prior to serving as Delaware’s State Treasurer, Velda founded a financial services and consulting company and was Managing Partner with a social impact venture capital firm focused on investing in women and minority-led technology companies, and increasing access to capital for underrepresented groups. She began her professional career as an engineer with ICI Americas and previously held executive positions with DuPont and MBNA. As a Loaned Executive from DuPont, Velda previously served the City of Wilmington as Director of Finance where she was instrumental in the transformation of the City’s fiscal operations.
Throughout her career, Velda has been deeply committed to education as a means of empowering individuals, enabling and motivating tomorrow’s entrepreneurs and inspiring the next-generation innovators. She is a founding board member of the Eastside Charter School of Wilmington. Velda was among the first five students to participate in Forum to Advance Minorities in Engineering (FAME), a pre-college math & science enrichment program. After graduating college she tutored FAME students and later served as Chairperson of its Board of Trustees and was instrumental in expanding the program which has nurtured several thousand new engineers, scientists and business professionals and is now a national model for STEM education.
Velda earned a bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Delaware, becoming the first African-American woman to earn an engineering degree in the history of the institution. She holds a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. She also studied at Northwestern University National Institute of Public Finance and is a Member Emeritus of the National Association of State Treasurers. Velda attributes much of her career achievement in business and finance to the strong technical training and knowledge acquired in the engineering discipline.
Velda is a Member Emeritus of the National Association of State Treasurers, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women; and has served on the Board of Trustees for numerous local non-profit and community service organizations, among them Police Athletic League of Wilmington and Delaware Financial Literacy Institute.
Velda is a graduate of P.S. DuPont High School where she met and later married her husband, Charles; they have two adult sons – Chaz and Brandon. Velda enjoys music, dancing, western movies and “lively debates”. Her advice to others -“Dream Big and Make It Happen”.