Governor Ralph Northam
A native of Virginia's Eastern Shore, Governor Northam graduated from Virginia Military Institute and Eastern Virginia Medical School. After medical school, he served eight years of active duty in the U.S. Army, during which he completed his pediatric residency and treated soldiers injured in Operation Desert Storm, rising to the rank of major. He then began his 25-year career practicing pediatric neurology at a children's hospital in Norfolk, and assumed a long-time role as volunteer medical director for a pediatric hospice care facility in Portsmouth. Northam first ran for public office in 2007, winning election as state senator representing Virginia's 6th District. He was re-elected in November 2011. As state senator, his legislative focuses included leading the effort to pass a ban on smoking in Virginia restaurants and taking steps to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. He was elected Virginia's 40th lieutenant governor in 2013, and in that role prioritized issues including promoting economic development and strengthening early childhood education. Northam was elected Virginia's governor in November 2017.