Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: June 26, 2020
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky,

Governor Northam Announces Administration Appointments

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

Secretariat of Commerce and Trade

Pamela Kestner, Chief Deputy, Department of Housing and Community Development
Pamela Kestner has been appointed Chief Deputy at the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). She previously served as Deputy Director of Housing at DHCD and prior to that as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources in the McAuliffe Administration. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Emory & Henry College and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Secretariat of Health and Human Resources

Gena Boyle Berger, Chief Deputy, Virginia Department of Social Services
Gena Boyle Berger has been appointed Chief Deputy at the Virginia Department of Social Services. Gena has served as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources since Governor Northam took office in January 2018. She has previously held positions as Assistant Director for Board Relations at United Network for Organ Sharing, health and environmental policy advisor to Governor Tim Kaine, and the state domestic violence policy manager for the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. Originally from Kentucky, Gena graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Morehead State University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Virginia Polytechnic University.

Marvin Figueroa, Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources
Marvin Figueroa has been appointed Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources, a position he held from January 2018 to December 2019. He previously served as Legislative Director, where he helped advance Governor Northam’s legislative agenda during the historic 2020 General Assembly Session. As Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources, his work has focused on the implementation of Medicaid expansion, increasing access to behavioral health services, substance use disorder policy, and supporting state agencies to ensure they deliver quality, affordable, and accessible services to individuals with disabilities, the aging community, and low-income working families. Prior to joining the Northam Administration, Marvin served as Senior Policy Advisor for U.S. Senator Mark Warner, where he worked on Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and other health care issues related to the Senator’s role on the Senate Finance Committee, and co-led the bipartisan Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group. Marvin is originally from La Ceiba, Honduras. He earned a Master’s degree at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

Secretariat of the Commonwealth
Board Appointments

Auctioneers Board

  • D.B. (Doug) Sinclair, CAI, AARE, GPPA* of Midlothian, President, Sinclair & Associates
  • Andrew W. Smith* of Beaverdam, Associate Director of Governmental Relations, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation

Marine Products Board

  • Hannah Kellum* of Farnham, Public Relations Administrator, W.E. Kellum Seafood
  • Dr. Michael Schwarz* of Virginia Beach, Director, Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Milk Commission

  • Brian Linney* of Leesburg, Chief Operating Officer, MDVA Milk Producers

Small Business Commission

  • Quan Boatman of Spotsylvania County, Director of Vendor Engagement and Training, United States Federal Government
  • Jayanth Challa of Vienna, President, Ace Info Solutions
  • Jorge Yinat, PhD of Williamsburg, Founder and Managing Partner, J|W|Y Business Enterprises

Virginia Gas and Oil Board

  • Bill Harris* of Big Stone Gap, Retired Associate Professor of Physics, Mountain Empire Community College
  • Bruce A. Prather* of Abingdon, Consultant and Geologist, Olin and Muriel Prather Charitable Foundation
  • Donald Ratliff* of Big Stone Gap, President, Commonwealth Connections, Inc.

Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority

  • Dr. Colleen Lueken* of Arlington, Lead Data Scientist, Fluence

*denotes reappointment

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