Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: January 15, 2021
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 Public Safety and Homeland Security

Garrett Dyer, Acting Executive Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs
Garrett Dyer has been appointed Acting Executive Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP). He was previously announced as the State Fire Marshal by Governor Northam in November 2019 and is the first African American to serve in that role. Dyer has previously served as chief of the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy, VDFP’s training branch specifically for fire services personnel who want to pursue careers in law and fire code enforcement. He joined VDFP in 2018 with over 30 years of public safety experience. Dyer previously worked with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and was a member of Virginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team. As part of that team, he responded to several notable missions, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the U.S. Embassy bombing in Nairobi, Kenya, the Pentagon during 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. Dyer holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland, and is a graduate of the paramedic program from George Washington University and the Senior Executive Institute at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

Nathan Dowdy, Policy Advisor for the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security
Nathan Dowdy has been appointed Policy Advisor for the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Prior to this appointment he served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Finance since August 2019. Previously, he worked for the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission and interned for Senator Janet Howell. A native of Henrico County, Nathan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Secretariat of the Commonwealth
Board Appointments

Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

  • Jim Cheng of Charlottesville
  • Cindy Conner* of Alexandria
  • Matthew W. Cooper of Richmond, General Counsel, Capital One Financial Corporation
  • Dr. Betty Neal Crutcher* of Richmond, Presidential Spouse, University of Richmond and Cross-Cultural Mentoring Consultant
  • Kenneth M. Dye* of Henrico, Community Volunteer
  • Janet Thiele Geldzahler* of Richmond, Counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • Sara O’Keefe* of Washington, District of Columbia

Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council

  • Jennifer Reese of Sterling, Disability Advocate and Regional Network Coordinator, Family to Family Network, an initiative of the Center for Family Involvement at Virginia Commonwealth University

*denotes reappointment

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