STATEWIDE — Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin has announced several administration appointments ahead of his Jan. 15, 2022 inauguration.
On Dec. 20, it was announced that Gov.-Elect Youngkin appointed Aimee Rogstad Guidera as the Commonwealth’s next Secretary of Education. Guidera is a strategic consultant and serves on the Advisory Board for the Harvard University Center for Education Policy Research.
“Aimee will be a critical partner in restoring expectations of excellence; overseeing a record education budget to invest in teachers, facilities and special education; rolling out innovation lab and charter schools; and standing for a curriculum that prepares Virginia’s children for a dynamic future and removes politics from the classroom,” said Gov.-Elect Youngkin. “A nationally recognized leader, Aimee is deeply respected for her distinguished career advocating for innovation and choice, data-driven reform, and high standards, and will apply these principles in order to implement the Day One Game Plan. Most importantly, she understands that parents matter, and the best interests of students must come first. Her leadership, intellect, and talent will be tremendous assets as we ensure Virginia kids are the best prepared in the country to succeed, and that they are taught how to think, not what to think. She will help us recharge a system that has settled for too long.”
The following day, Gov.-Elect Youngkin announced Caren Merrick as his selection for the Commonwealth’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade. Merrick is the chief executive officer of the Virginia Ready Initiative, which has the mission to provide rapid reskill training for Virginians to find employment in high-demand career fields. She brings twenty-five years of experience in launching and aiding companies and has a wealth of experience working with major industry partners throughout the Commonwealth.
“Virginia’s jobs machine has stalled out, and Caren is going to play a pivotal role on the team that will jumpstart our economy and reinvigorate job growth here in the Commonwealth,” said Youngkin. “Caren is an innovator, a business builder, and a true leader in workforce development—the kind of experience needed to develop talent, train workers, attract investment, and make Virginia the best state to start a business as we set out to add 400,000 jobs and launch 10,000 startups.”
On Weds., Dec. 22, Youngkin announced that he chose Stephen Emery Cummings to serve as the Commonwealth’s next Secretary of Finance. Cummings most recently served as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in the Americas. He previously served as the global head of corporate and investment banking for Wachovia Bank (which was later acquired by Wells Fargo).
“Lowering taxes and restoring fiscal responsibility in Richmond is a primary focus of our Day One Game Plan, and Steve’s experience and expertise will help make sure we deliver real results for Virginians. Steve shares my vision of respecting Virginians’ hard-earned tax dollars and ensuring the Commonwealth’s budget is managed effectively and efficiently, and he has the skillset and leadership qualities that our team needs to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Youngkin.
The announcements come ahead of Gov.-Elect Youngkin’s inauguration, which is expected to take place in Richmond on January 15, 2022.