Tracey Quillen Carney, a proud native Delawarean, was born at the Dover Air Force Base, where her father was stationed toward the end of his active duty service in the Air Force. Her grandfather, Robert James Quillen, was a graduate of Dover High School. He later moved the family to historic New Castle, where Quillen Brothers Ford became an anchor of the community and where two generations of Quillens were raised.
A month after becoming the first lady of Delaware, Tracey left her job as a senior administrator at Wilmington Friends, after 15 years at the School, pointing to the “unique opportunity” presented for a partnership with John during his service as Governor. Prior to her work at Wilmington Friends, Tracey worked for 15 years on the staff of then-Senator Joe Biden—both in the District Office in Wilmington, Delaware, and on the Judiciary Committee staff during Senator Biden’s term as chairman. Tracey’s work focused on writing, with projects from correspondence and press releases to commemorative legislation and speech prep.
Tracey has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors and received the Ronald J. Caridi Memorial Award for scholarship. She has served on the Board of Managers of the Downtown (Wilmington, DE) YMCA, the Board of Directors of the Delaware Historical Society, the Board of the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS); and the Publications Working Group of the Friends Council on Education. Tracey currently serves as an honorary Board Member of Delaware’s Fund for Women.
Tracey’s focus as First Lady is to support efforts that, in a foundational way, help give children a chance to succeed. She convenes a task force on childhood hunger that began its work in June 2017, with specific goals of increasing participation and building partnerships in support of the Summer Food Service Program and alternative model school breakfasts. The task force also seeks to promote awareness of all programs, public and private, available to Delawareans experiencing food insecurity. In keeping with the Governor’s agenda, Tracey has also prioritized effective recognition of and response to childhood trauma, from programs for substance-exposed infants and their families to expanding and sustaining trauma-response training in schools.
Tracey and John have two sons, raised in the City of Wilmington. Sam, 23, is a recent graduate of Clemson University; and Jimmy, 21, is a junior at Tufts University.