Clerk Biography

Don O’Shell was initially elected on November 4, 2003 and was sworn in as the 50th York County Clerk of Courts on January 5, 2004.  Don was re-elected to a fourth term on November 3, 2015 and was sworn in early due to pending military duty on November 25, 2015.


Don graduated from Red Lion Christian School in 1988, attended Bob Jones University and later graduated in 1992 from York College of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration. In August 2009 Don graduated from Penn State University - Middletown, PA campus with a Masters degree in Public Administration.

Military Service

In June of 1994, Don enlisted in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard as a member of the 193d Special Operations Wing based at Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, PA. He served as a personnel clerk before being commissioned in August of 1997 as a second lieutenant.

Today Don serves as the 193d Special Operations Force Support Squadron commander in the rank of lieutenant colonel/O-5.  The 193d Force Support Squadron provides Manpower, Personnel and Services functions to include morale, welfare, recreation, food and lodging services, and family readiness as well as mortuary affairs in support of the Airmen and mission of the 193d Special Operations Wing (SOW).  The 193d SOW is located at Harrisburg International Airport, Middletown, Pennsylvania, is home to the only airborne Military Information Support Operations broadcasting platform in the U.S. military.  As a Pennsylvania Air National Guard unit, these Airmen essentially wear two hats. In peacetime, the unit serves under the governor of Pennsylvania, bolstering missions such as support to civilian authorities during natural disaster or homeland security. In wartime or in a contingency, the 193rd SOW reports to Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida, its gaining major command.

In addition Don works an additional duty as a United States Air Force Academy Admissions Liaison Officer. The Admissions Liaison Officer (ALO) program is an organization of Air Force representatives who identify, advise, recruit, mentor and evaluate candidates for the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) and applicants for Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) scholarship programs. ALOs also serve as Air Force team recruiters, directing individuals to Non-Prior Service (NPS), AF Reserve, and Air National Guard recruiters. Approximately 1,600 ALOs serve in all 50 states and around the world.

Legislative Service

From 1995 to 1997, Don worked as a legislative assistant to State Representative Stan Saylor focusing on constituent service and legislation. Just prior to his election as Clerk of Courts, Don served as chief of staff to State Representative Keith Gillespie.

Administrative Experience

In 1998, Don joined the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as a staff assistant to the Driver License Division manager. Later that year he was promoted to the position of Photo License Manager where he was responsible for the 98 Photo License Centers throughout Pennsylvania. During his tenure Don played a key role in assuring the Photo License system was Y2K compliant and was named a member of the PennDOT Star of Excellence Y2K team. Don also oversaw build-outs of five Photo License Centers and renewed over 40 leases ensuring fair market price for rent and common area maintenance saving the Commonwealth a total of $1.4 million over the lease periods. In addition Don coordinated PennDOT’s transition to a new photo license vendor from developing the Request for Proposal (RFP) to selecting the successful vendor resulting in a more durable and secure driver license product for millions of Pennsylvania drivers.

In 2000, Don joined the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as the agency’s assistant director of legislative affairs. In that position, he promoted the environmental legislative agenda of Governors Ridge and Schweiker, addressed constituent concerns for both federal and state legislators, and worked to improve overall department operations and was recognized by Governor Schweiker with a Team Innovation Award in 2002 for his work on the Electronic Legislative Analysis Team – an application designed to track the status of legislation and the administration’s positions.

Community Service

In November of 2001, Don was elected to serve on Red Lion Borough Council and served from 2002-2004 just prior to taking office as Clerk of Courts. While on borough council, Don focused on Planning, Zoning and Redevelopment issues to include a downtown streetscape improvement program and Keystone Opportunity Zones.

Don also worked for inter-municipal cooperation via the formation of the York Area Council of Governments (YACOG) composed of twelve area municipalities and the County of York.

Professional Memberships & Accomplishments

Member, Margaret E. Moul Home Board of Directors
Member, York County Criminal Justice Advisory Board
Member, Restitution in Pennsylvania Taskforce
Member, Domestic Violence Task Force of York County
Member, Humane Society Police Officer Advisory Board
Volunteer - Junior Achievement of South Central Pennsylvania
Republican Committeeman – Springettsbury Township 2nd Precinct
Alternate Delegate Republican National Convention 2004 & 1996
Member, National Guard Association of the United States
Member, PA National Guard Association
Member, Phi Alpha – Public Administration Honors Society