Biography & Resume


Terence Farrell began his first term as Commissioner on January 7, 2008, and his second term on January 3, 2012.  Terence was elected to his third term as Commissioner on November 3, 2015.   Terence served as chairman of the Board of Commissioners for 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016. Under his leadership, the board advanced its development of a strategic plan to increase efficiency in the county’s operations, passed a balanced budget without raising taxes and reaffirmed the county’s award-winning open space preservation program for the next decade. The county has received numerous awards for its superior quality of life, for a government and citizenry that has indeed made it “healthy, wealthy and wise.” Under Mr. Farrell’s oversight, the county installed online streaming video of the Commissioners’ public meetings to increase government transparency (available at Going forward, Commissioner Farrell believes we must meet the fiscal challenges imposed by reductions in state and federal funding to the county, while still providing the quality of services our citizens have come to expect in an accountable, responsible manner.

Terence previously served two terms as Chester County’s Recorder of Deeds. His leadership is credited with bringing the Recorder’s Office into the 21st Century. Under Terence’s guidance, a modern recording and imaging system was put into place in the Recorder’s Office that, for the first time, provided internet access to public records.

As the Recorder of Deeds, Terence created advantages for businesses and taxpayers. His commitment to bringing technology and government together—making the Recorder of Deeds office more user-friendly and, at the same time, more efficient had positive results for Chester County citizens. By putting significant efforts into placing recorded documents online, Terence created an opportunity for searchers to work from their offices or homes, with access to most records 24 hours a day.

Terence is very active outside of work as well. He was nominated by Governor Tom Corbett, and confirmed by the PA Senate, to become a Commissioner for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, which is charged with administering and enforcing the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and the Pennsylvania Fair Educational Opportunities Act through investigation, identification, and elimination of unlawful discrimination and the promotion of equal opportunity for all persons. Terence was also appointed by Governor Corbett to serve on the Lincoln University Board of Trustees. In addition, Terence was recognized as the 2011 Citizen of the Year by the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce.

Terence has strong Chester County roots, having grown up on the campus of Lincoln University, where his parents were professors. He has two adult sons and a granddaughter.

Terence believes in the power of an education. His parents emphasized the importance of education and instilled in him the concept of life-long learning. As a result, Terence has achieved many educational goals: he is a licensed Realtor, holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Carleton College, and Graduate Certificates in Public Administration and Public Personnel Administration from Indiana State University. In 2009, Harvard selected Terence to join an international ensemble of students for the “Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage” seminar at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. The County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania appointed him as the only Commissioner from the commonwealth to attend the National Association of County’s Leadership Institute for 2010. Also, Terence has previously served as a board member for the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School.

In 2005, Terence was selected by the White House to serve on the prestigious Presidential Rank Awards Panel. The panel is convened annually to review a select group of distinguished Federal executives, who have been nominated by a Cabinet Secretary or Agency Head to receive the award. The evaluation completed by the Awards Panel results in nominations that are sent to the President for final review.

With his wife, Theresa, Terence is a current resident of the borough of West Chester and takes an active interest in his local community, serving on a number of boards and councils, including the YMCA of the Brandywine Valley, the Chester County Conservation District and the Chester County Economic Development Council. In 2010, he was elected to the Board of Directors for the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania for District Five, representing the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia.

Through all his efforts, Commissioner Farrell is committed to making Chester County an even better place to live and work.

You may email questions or concerns to him at

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