Northam Picks Fairfax Business Leader, Former Obama Appointee As Commerce And Trade Secretary


By Michael Martz, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Gov.-elect Ralph Northam has picked a Northern Virginia business leader with an extensive résumé to be secretary of commerce and trade, but he’s leaving another Cabinet slot vacant by splitting the duties of technology secretary in other parts of the executive branch.

Esther C. Lee, 43, vice chair of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, is Northam’s choice for a key position to fulfill his campaign promises to make the state’s economy — and workforce training to fill jobs for new and expanding businesses — the top priority of an administration that will begin with his inauguration on Saturday.

With Lee’s appointment, Northam says women will hold eight of the 15 Cabinet-level posts in his administration.


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