A Commonwealth of Virginia Website

Pamela Northam

First Lady of Virginia


Elevating environmental education


Promoting innovation and diversity in STEM education


Preparing Virginia’s children for success from cradle to career

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Pamela Northam

Since January 2018, Pamela Northam has used her experience as a former pediatric occupational therapist and science educator to lead the Northam administration’s work to increase access to quality early childhood care and education. Since the beginning of the administration, over $98 million in new state, federal, and local funds have been invested in Virginia’s early education system, including $42.9 million in innovative federal preschool development grants overseen by the First Lady’s office. Mrs. Northam’s primary goal is to improve school readiness statewide so that Virginia children are ready for success in school and beyond.

Previously, the First Lady served as community outreach coordinator for the environmental nonprofit Lynnhaven River NOW (LRN), where she oversaw advocacy and outreach programs for homeowners, congregations, and businesses to help them to become more sustainable. Prior to joining LRN, Mrs. Northam taught high school biology. Recognizing a need for STEM in elementary education, she became a national award-winning science specialist and worked to develop an inquiry-based, hands-on curriculum for students in grades K through 5.

Mrs. Northam is the chair of both the Virginia Children’s Cabinet and the Virginia STEM Education Commission, and is a board member of the innovative E3 School in Norfolk. After studying at Baylor University and the University of Texas, the First Lady specialized in pediatric occupational therapy, where her work included rehabilitation hospitals, teaching hospitals, and special education. The Northams have two adult children: Wes, a neurosurgery resident; and Aubrey, a web developer.

Pam Northam


Week in Review


David Cary

David Cary
Assistant Secretary of Early Childhood Education
Chief of Staff to First Lady Pamela Northam


In 2020, David was appointed Assistant Secretary of Early Education under Secretary of Education Atif Qarni in addition to his role with the First Lady. David previously served on the Northam for Governor campaign, and has managed civil rights, healthcare, and environmental issue campaigns in Hawaii, Texas, and New Hampshire. He is a Chesterfield County native and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Natalie Chapman

Bailey Harlow
Executive Assistant to First Lady Pamela Northam

bailey.harlow @governor.virginia.gov

Bailey Harlow has been appointed as Executive Assistant to First Lady Pamela Northam. He previously served as session aide for Delegate Danica Roem and worked with Equality Virginia’s policy team. He is an August County native, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Psychology from the College of William and Mary.

Jenna Conway

Jenna Conway
Chief School Readiness Officer


Prior to her appointment, Jenna served as the Assistant Superintendent of Early Childhood at the Louisiana Department of Education, where she led a first-of-its-kind effort to unify and improve the state's child care, Head Start, and pre-kindergarten systems since 2012. Jenna has also previously held roles as Director of Strategic Planning and Enterprise Program Management at the New York City Housing Authority and Director of Project Management at Ashoka’s Changemakers in Washington, DC. Jenna is a native of Charlottesville and holds a degree in American Studies from Yale University and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University.

Places to Visit

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First Lady's Back to School Tour 2021

Contact the Office of the First Lady

For scheduling requests, please fill out this form or contact Bailey Harlow

Or by mail,
First Lady of Virginia
Patrick Henry Building
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

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