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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: April 27, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, | Secretariat of the Commonwealth: Caroline Corl,

Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments

RICHMOND – Governor Ralph Northam announced additional appointments to his Administration today.

Secretariat of Health and Human Resources

Dr. S. Hughes Melton, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Dr. Melton has been appointed Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. He has extensive experience integrating mental health into primary care and is board certified in both family and addiction medicine. He most recently served as the Chief Deputy Commissioner for the Virginia Department of Health, where his collaborative leadership style was central to the Commonwealth’s efforts to fight the addiction epidemic. 

Dr. Melton founded C-Health, a full-spectrum family medical clinic that treated 18,000 patients in four Southwest Virginia counties over a twelve-year period. He also started HighPower, an evidence-based, patient-centered outpatient addiction treatment center that helped shape Virginia Medicaid’s Addiction Recovery Treatment Services (ARTS) program. From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Melton served as Chief Medical Officer for the Virginia facilities of Mountain States Health Alliance, representing thirteen counties and one-third of the system.

After receiving his medical degree and completing a family medicine residency at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Dr. Melton entered public service, joining the United States Army as part of his ROTC Scholarship from Washington and Lee University. He was later selected to serve as the Brigade Surgeon for the elite 325th Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division.

He recently served as president of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation and has previously held positions on the boards of the Medical Society of Virginia and Virginia Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Melton earned an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden’s School of Business in 2014.

Office of the Governor

Stacey Brayboy, Director, Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs
Stacey Brayboy has been appointed Director of the Virginia Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. She was previously appointed to serve as the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for the Commonwealth of Virginia in December 2017 by Governor Ralph Northam. In this role, she helped support the Governor’s mission of building a strong Virginia economy in agriculture and forestry, two of Virginia’s largest private industries, while also protecting the environment.

Brayboy previously served as Chief of Staff to the Chief Financial Officer in the United States Department of Agriculture where she held several leadership roles including Chief of Staff for Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) and Director of Economic and Community Development for USDA Rural Development. She was a member of the transition team for President Obama and Vice President Biden and before that, served as Deputy Director of the Virginia Council on Human Rights.

Brayboy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Francis Marion University and a master’s degree in public administration from Clark Atlanta University. She is also a graduate of the Virginia Executive Institute and Federal Executive Institute. In 2015, she received the Professional Industry Achievement Award in Public Service and Law from Francis Marion University. 

Fernando Mercado, Special Assistant and Director of Latino Outreach
Fernando Mercado has been appointed Special Assistant and Director of Latino Outreach. Prior to this appointment, he worked as a community organizer in Northern Virginia with the Legal Aid Justice Center. Mercado is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Government.

Secretariat of Administration

James Muyoung Heo, Confidential Policy Assistant, Department of Elections
James Heo has been appointed Confidential Policy Assistant for the Department of Elections. He most recently served as Chief of Staff to Virginia Delegate Mark Sickles. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Secretariat of the Commonwealth
Board Appointments

Board of Health Professions

  • Kevin P. O’Connor, MD of Leesburg, The Urology Group, a division of Loudoun Medical Group

College Savings Plan

  • Edward H. Bersoff, PhD* of Bethesda, Maryland, Chairman, Greenwich Associates, LLC

Hampton Roads Sanitation District Commission

  • Frederick N. Elofson*of Newport News, CPA
  • Vishnu K. Lakdawala, PhD* of Virginia Beach, CDA and Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Old Dominion University

Scientific Advisory Committee

  • Randall E. Beaty* of Austin, Texas, Deputy Scientific Director, Breath Alcohol Laboratory, Texas Department of Public Safety, Crime Laboratory System
  • Maureen Bottrell* of Vienna, Geologist/Forensic Examiner, Trace Evidence Unit, FBI Laboratory
  • Barry S. Levine, PhD* of Columbia, Maryland, former Chief Toxicologist
  • Richard P. Meyers* of Herndon, Forensic Science Advisor, Office of Forensic Sciences, United States Drug Enforcement Administration


*denotes reappointment


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