Office of the Governor of Virginia

The Virginia Governor’s Office is the executive office of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and includes the Governor of Virginia, his advisors and counsel, the Governor’s Cabinet, and a number of other staff. The current Governor of Virginia is Governor Ralph Northam.

Governor Ralph Northam

The Governor of Virginia is the Chief Executing of the Commonwealth of Virginia, serving for a four-year term. In Virginia, though individuals may serve more than one term as Governor, these terms cannot be consecutive. The current and 73rd Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia is Ralph Northam. Prior to his inauguration, Governor Northam served as an Army doctor, pediatric neurologist, business owner, state Senator, and Lieutenant Governor.

First Lady Pamela Northam

The current First Lady of the Commonwealth of Virginia is Pamela Northam. Ms. Northam’s primary goal as First Lady has been to improve school readiness statewide, and has used her experience as a former pediatric occupation therapist and science educator to lead the Northam administration’s work to increase access to quality early childhood care and education. Since the beginning of the administration, over $98 million in new state, federal, and local funds have been invested in Virginia’s early education system, including $42.9 million in innovative federal preschool development grants overseen by the First Lady’s office.

The Governor’s Cabinet

Chief of Staff – Clark Mercer

The Chief of Staff is responsible for managing the day-to-day responsibilities of the administration, ensuring that operations, staff, and activities are functioning efficiently and effectively. In addition, the Chief of Staff serves as the senior aide to the Governor.

Secretary of the Commonwealth – Kelly Thomasson

The Secretary of the Commonwealth assists the Governor in appointments to boards and commissions; serves as the liaison to Virginia’s 11 state recognized Indian tribes; manages the restoration of civil rights process; and manages extraditions, clemency requests, and various other certifications and filings of the Commonwealth.

Secretary of Administration – Keyanna Conner, Ph.D.

The Secretary of Administration oversees the five state agencies responsible for managing the Commonwealth’s buildings and grounds, administering employee policies and benefits, overseeing elections, safeguarding human rights, improving manager-employee relations in state government, directing state funds to constitutional officers, and overseeing the Commonwealth’s information technology.

Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry – Bettina Ring

The Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry serves as the “voice” for the agriculture and forestry industries in the Commonwealth, which combing provide more than 400,000 jobs. The Secretariat has worked to promote rural and economic development in these industries; supported forest and farmland retention programs; and has made it a top priority to promote sustainable agriculture and food security.

Secretary of Commerce and Trade – Brian Ball

The Secretary of Commerce and Trade works to develop and grow a strong and equitable economy through economic development, workforce development, broadband expansion, and promotion of renewable energy. The Secretariat oversees 12 state agencies that assist Virginians in a number of ways to help them actively contribute to the Commonwealth’s economy.

Secretary of Education – Atif Qarni

The Secretary of Education provides guidance and support to the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Community College System, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Virginia’s public and private higher education and research centers, and state-funded arts/cultural institutions.

Secretary of Finance – Aubrey Layne

The Secretary of Finance provides guidance and support to the four key state agencies within the Secretariat that handle the financial transactions of the Commonwealth. Responsibilities include forecasting and collecting revenues; managing the Commonwealth’s cash and investments; selling bonds; overseeing internal audits; making strategic financial plans; and preparing and executing the Commonwealth’s budget.

Secretary of Health and Human Resources – Daniel Carey, M.D.

The Secretary of Health and Human Resources oversees twelve state agencies which provide often-vital services to Virginians. This Secretariat works to support individuals with disabilities, the aging community, and low-income working families, children, and caregivers. Additionally, agencies under this Secretariat license health practitioners and ensure safe drinking water in Virginia.

Secretary of Natural Resources – Matthew Strickler

The Secretary of Natural Resources oversees five state agencies that protect and restore the Commonwealth’s natural and historic resources, and works together with these agencies to uphold the provisions of Article XI of the Virginia Constitution (“To the end that the people have clean air, pure water, and the use and enjoyment for recreation of adequate public lands, waters, and other natural resources …”). The Secretariat also advises the Governor on natural resources issues and works to advance the Governor’s environmental priorities.

Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security – Brian Moran

The Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security works to enhance the quality of Virginia’s citizens, visitors and businesses of the Commonwealth through public awareness, education, training, emergency response, disaster preparedness, prevention, policy development, enforcement, response, recovery and reentry. The Secretariat also assists the Governor in the development and implementation of public safety and homeland security policies and supports the Governor’s strategic priorities through four established pillars of interagency collaboration:  All-Hazards Emergency Response, Reducing Recidivism, Preventing Gun Violence, and Smart Policing.

Secretary of Transportation – Shannon Valentine

The Secretary of Transportation works to ensure that the Commonwealth has a safe and efficient transportation system, and is committed to creating and maintaining a multimodal network of transportation in the Commonwealth. The Secretariat oversees state agencies which support the movement of people and goods by rail, water, public transit, and roadways.

Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs – Carlos Hopkins

The Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs oversees the Virginia Department of Veteran Services, which helps Virginia’s veterans, Guardsmen, Reservists, and their families by providing transition, employment and education assistance, benefits, and health care; serves as the primary liaison between the Commonwealth and the US Department of Defense and its military Communities; oversees the Virginia Department of Military Affairs, which works to integrate military and homeland defense capabilities into applicable state operations; and oversees the Veteran Service Foundation, which provides supplemental funding to programs, services, and initiatives of the Department of Veteran Services.

Chief Workforce Advisor to the Governor – Megan Healy, Ph.D.

The Chief Workforce Development Advisor oversees a number of regional, state, and federal programs to help connect Virginians to the skills, training, and opportunities that they need to thrive in the modern economy. The Advisor also works closely with Virginia’s labor and business communities to identify and fill jobs in high demand sectors.

Counsel to the Governor – Rita Davis

The Counsel to the Governor provides legal oversight, advice, and guidance to the Governor on legal matters occurring within/relevant to the Office of the Governor.

Chief Diversity Officer – Janice Underwood, Ph.D.

In September 2019, Governor Northam established the position of the nation’s first cabinet-level Chief Diversity Officer. The Chief Diversity Officer works to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Commonwealth, and is responsible for developing a framework for the continued promotion of inclusive practices across Virginia state government.

Constituent Services

The Governor’s Office of Constituent Services and Community Engagement facilitates communication with the Governor, processes requests for proclamations and other commemorative documents, and manages flag and other protocol related requests.

Constituent Services Staff

Governor’s Office of Constituent Services and Community Engagement

Director – JD Ratliff

Special Assistant – Demetria Garland

Special Assistant – Suzanne Holland

Special Assistant – Darryl Holt

Special Assistant – Maribel Castañeda

Special Assistant – Rose Minor

Constituency Directors

Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth and Director of African American Outreach – Traci DeShazor

Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources and Director of Women’s Outreach – Gena Berger

Director of Latino Outreach – Maribel Castañeda

Director of LGBTQ Outreach – Rose Minor

Regional Leads

Northern Virginia – Suzanne Holland

Southside – Rose Minor

Southwest – JD Ratliff

Valley – Suzanne Holland

Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

The Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (VOIA) serves as the liaison between the Commonwealth and the United States Congress, the White House, federal agencies, and other states and territories—facilitating communication with the Governor. The D.C. office also coordinates with state agencies to develop the Commonwealth’s federal priorities and appropriations requests.

The Intergovernmental Affairs office also monitors federal legislative issues and advocates on behalf of the Commonwealth. It works with state policy advisors to determine how federal legislation will impact state programs and priorities.

Additionally, the Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs helps to identify federal grant opportunities for the Commonwealth.

The Director of the Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs is Stacey Brayboy.


Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
444 North Capitol Street NW
Washington, DC 20001 Phone: (202) 783-1769
Fax: (202) 789-7687

Advisors and Counsel

Policy Advisors

Director of the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs – Matt Mansell

Legislative Director – Marvin Figueroa 

Policy Director – Courtney Dozier 

Deputy Policy Director – Carter Hutchinson 

Senior Policy Analyst – Rushawna Senior

Policy Advisor – Melissa Assalone

Legislative Advisor – John Begala

Policy Analyst – Connor Andrew

Policy Assistant – Grace Kelly

Counsel’s Office

Counselor to the Governor – Rita Davis

Deputy Counsel to the Governor – Jessica Killeen

Confidential Assistant to the Counsel – Grace Kelly