First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe has led the charge for Virginia’s children, working with legislators, educators, and advocates to devote more resources to those in need, and to ensure that all young people have the tools to reach their full potential and lead us in the 21st century.
As Chair of the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide, the First Lady has brought together stakeholders from diverse sectors of the food system to focus on eliminating childhood hunger in Virginia, developing local agriculture markets, and promoting community efforts that link locally grown food, education, health and nutrition.
The First Lady has been a champion to end childhood hunger in Virginia and across the nation. Working with the General Assembly, Mrs. McAuliffe’s efforts resulted in over $2.5 million in state funding to help schools adopt breakfast after the bell programs proven to expand food access and increase academic performance. This historic investment, in conjunction with Mrs. McAuliffe’s partnership with the No Kid Hungry Virginia Campaign, resulted in 6.5 million more school breakfasts served to Virginia students in the 2015-2016 school year compared to the 2013-14 school year. Her work also helped expand participation in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) among Virginia schools by 190% from 2014 to 2016, as well as the CACFP Afterschool Meals program, increasing participation by more than 10,000 students each day.
The First Lady is committed to supporting Virginia’s active-duty military and their families. Mrs. McAuliffe is honored to serve as the Governor’s designee to the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. The Council assists in easing the transition of children of military families into Virginia schools, a process that can be difficult due to frequent moves and deployment of their parents. She has made it a top priority to ensure that Virginia provides the most effective supports available in addressing the unique concerns of our service men and women and their families.
Having served as a volunteer over many years in her community, Mrs. McAuliffe recognizes the power of engagement. Under her leadership, Virginia is leading the way to encourage and elevate national service as a pathway for solving challenges in local communities, deepening appreciation for citizenship, and developing valuable workforce training opportunities. Largely as a result of her efforts, Virginia is the first state in the nation to be designated an Employer of National Service.
Mrs. McAuliffe has long been devoted to the arts and education. She has served on the Boards of Trustees of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institution. She is honored by the opportunity to use her platform as First Lady to help promote the unique historical, cultural and art treasures of the Commonwealth for both tourism and educational purposes.
She is a graduate of The Catholic University of America, with a B.A. in Political Science, and completed her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a member of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business. After receiving her degree, Mrs. McAuliffe practiced banking and securities law for several years. She and the Governor are the proud parents of five children. Together, they enjoy all outdoor activities and exploring the natural beauty of our Commonwealth, especially our magnificent Virginia State Parks.