Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: November 26, 2018
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Ofirah Yheskel, | Office of the Secretary of Finance: June Jennings, Deputy Secretary of Finance,

Governor Northam Launches Application for Second Cohort of Virginia Management Fellows

Developed in conjunction with Virginia Tech, program aimed at preparing next generation of government leaders

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the application launch for the second Virginia Management Fellows (VMF) cohort. The program is an initiative of the Commonwealth of Virginia developed in partnership with Virginia Tech to meet the state’s needs for future leaders. Recent (or May 2019) undergraduate, Master’s, or Ph.D. graduates who are dedicated to serving the citizens of Virginia are eligible to apply.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that applications for the second class of Virginia Management Fellows are now open,” said Governor Northam. “Virginia is fortunate to have a smart and dedicated state workforce that is recognized for its excellence across the nation, and we are committed to cultivating the next generation of public servants to grow our leadership capacity. Knowing the strengths of the current Virginia Management Fellows, I look forward to the many contributions that this second cohort will bring to the Commonwealth as they work, learn, and serve during their fellowship.”

The General Assembly approved the learning program, salary, and benefit structure of the VMF. The program aims to create a succession pipeline for leadership and management jobs in all branches of state government that will be in high demand as current employees begin to retire. According to recent data from the Commonwealth, 42 percent of general managers, 39 percent of financial managers, and 30 percent of compliance and safety officers will be eligible for retirement within the next five years.

“The VMF program is comprehensive in its approach,” said Secretary of Finance Aubrey Layne. “A general concept of the VMF is future leaders learning from current leaders. We have a great roster of agencies participating in this program who deploy multiple leaders to support and encourage the professional growth of our Fellows.”

The program’s state liaison, Deputy Secretary of Finance June Jennings, works with finance colleagues, state agencies, executive cabinet members, legislators, and faculty members from Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs in support of the program implementation. 

“This second cohort of the VMF program is an important next step in Virginia’s efforts to develop management and leadership talent,” said Deputy Secretary June Jennings. “The contributions, energy, research and direct service of the current VMF demonstrate the value of investment in these next-generation leaders who are learning and getting things done for the state.”

Fellows are employed in a two-year leadership and management development certificate program with a cutting-edge approach to state leadership learning. The position includes salary and full benefits. At the end of the fellowship period, fellows will be able to apply for high-demand positions within state government.

“Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) is honored to be a partner in this innovative program to develop public service leadership for the Commonwealth through hands-on learning, coursework, mentoring, outstanding faculty, and more,” said Leisha LaRiviere, associate director for the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech (Richmond campus).

The program features four major learning components: customer service; operations; legislation, regulation, and compliance; and analytics. Each fellow is assigned to and embedded within a state agency for a rotation around these learning areas. A special feature of the rotation is the support and guidance of a mentor-leader.  

Participating agencies include Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Criminal Justice Services, Virginia Department of Health, Department of Human Resources Management, Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Planning and Budget, Department of Taxation, Department of the Treasury, Senate Finance Committee, State Corporation Commission, State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, and the Virginia Retirement System.

In addition to the agency rotations and mentor training, Virginia Management Fellows will research, study, and understand public administration theories and processes through seminars and lectures designed specifically for the Commonwealth. Fellows learn public administration management and leadership theory and practice in a leadership development program certificate earned across the two-year fellowship program. The educational elements of the program are designed, researched, tested, and implemented by faculty from the School of Public and International Affairs in Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

The Virginia Management Fellows application can be found here. The deadline to complete the online application is December 7, 2018.

To learn more about the Fellows program, visit or contact Leisha LaRiviere, director of the VMF program and associate director of SPIA on the Richmond campus, at

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