Michelle Haris Kichline was sworn in as Commissioner on December 16th, 2014, as an appointee to fill the term previously held by Commissioner Ryan Costello. She was appointed unanimously by the judiciary of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County. Commissioner Kichline was selected by her fellow commissioners to co-chair VISTA 2025, the county public/private economic development initiative for Chester County. She also serves Chester County on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) and Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association (GVFTMA).
Michelle grew up in Tredyffrin Township after her parents immigrated to the United States from communist Hungary. Michelle’s parents chose to live in Chester County, Pennsylvania, because of its great schools, strong communities, and job opportunities. Michelle graduated from Conestoga High School, earned her bachelor of arts (B.A.) in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and later earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the Beasley School of Law at Temple University.
Prior to her appointment as Chester County’s newest Commissioner, Michelle served on Tredyffrin Township’s Board of Supervisors from 2010 to 2013, which she chaired for the last two years of her tenure. She also served on Tredyffrin Township’s Zoning Hearing Board and was its first female chair in 2007.
Tredyffrin Township is Chester County’s largest municipality with 30,000 residents and an annual budget of over $17 million. Under the leadership of Michelle Kichline, Tredyffrin Township refinanced its bonds and saved tax payers nearly $2 million. In addition, the Township had a fully funded pension program and renewed its AAA bond rating. During her chairmanship, the board of supervisors passed a comprehensive zoning amendment to address the changing needs of Tredyffrin Township. Michelle led the Township in the development of the Business Development Advisory Committee (BDAC). BDAC partnered with business and property stakeholders and developed a strategic plan for the attraction and retention of businesses in Tredyffrin. This plan included a comprehensive review of tax and zoning structures, as well as transportation needs.
Michelle has served on the Paoli Transit Task force since 2010. In 2014 she was part of the advisory group that worked with PennDot, Amtrak and SEPTA to obtain $30 million in funding for phase one of the Paoli Transit project. As a result of her work in Paoli, Michelle was elected to the board of TMACC.
In October 2013, Michelle was appointed by Governor Corbett as Chester County’s Commissioner to the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA). She serves as a member of its Audit, Labor and Operations and Management Subcommittees. As the chair of its Subcommittee on Strategic Planning, Michelle has been instrumental in articulating the DRPA’s role as a transportation provider.
Finally, as an attorney, Michelle spent over a decade at Wisler Pearlstine LLP, representing public sector clients like school districts and municipalities. She counseled school administrators on a wide variety of issues, including employment and education law. In this capacity, she gained significant experience litigating education and employment law before state and federal courts.
Commissioner Michelle Kichline resides in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, with her husband and their two children.