Secretary of the Commonwealth

Kay James

Secretary of the Commonwealth

Secretary Kay Coles James has an extensive background in crafting public policy and in leading nearly every sector of America’s economy. She has worked at the local, state, and federal levels of government under the administrations of former US President George H. W. Bush (served twice between1989-1993), Secretary of Health and Human Resources under Virginia Governor George Allen (1994-1996), and former US President George W. Bush (2001-2005); and she has also served dozens of organizations in the corporate and nonprofit arenas. In 2001, Mrs. James was appointed as Director of the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) by President George W. Bush and led a department of 3,600 employees. As director, she served as the President’s principal advisor in matters of personnel administration for the 1.8 million members of the federal civil service and was responsible for the stewardship of more than $650 billion in federal employees’ assets.


Secretary James has also worked at senior levels in education and the nonprofit world, as the chief operating officer of a national organization for mentoring programs and the dean of the Robertson School of Government at Regent University. She is the founder and Chairwoman of the Gloucester Institute, which offers leadership training to African-American college students.
Secretary James is a former board member of PNC Financial Services Group, the National Board of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the Magellan Health Services Bard, and Amerigroup Corporation. Mrs. James is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and has done continuing board education at the Harvard School of Business.


Secretary Kay Coles James is the wife of Charles James, Sr. and the proud mother of three grown children and five grandchildren.

View the Secretary of the Commonwealth website