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Sisterhood Spotlight

Profile photo Kelly-Gee
Kelly Gee
Secretary of the Commonwealth

Kelly Gee was appointed by Governor Youngkin to serve as the Secretary of the Commonwealth, a multi-faceted position tasked with overseeing and managing the many intricate details of what makes our government function. In this Sisterhood Spotlight, Secretary Gee shares about her unique career journey, what drives her passion to serve, and offers advice for Virginia’s professional Women+girls.

What was your very first job, and how do you think it has shaped your career today, if at all?

I waited tables at a family owned Italian restaurant for many years in high school and college. It taught me the value of good customer service, honed my ability to multitask, and sharpened my memory. All skills important to my job today!

During Women’s History Month, what would you say to Virginia’s Women+girls who are looking to advance their professional career?

You deserve a seat at the table, so don’t be afraid to speak up. Also, empowered women empower other women. Regardless of whether you agree everything, women and girls should always support and encourage the success of other women.

Having served in various leadership capacities in the Virginia legislature, at the Virginia Lottery, and now in Governor Youngkin’s administration, what is a great piece of advice you were given -- or wish you were given -- when starting your career? 

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Put yourself in positions that stretch your skills and challenge your strengths. That’s the best way to grow professionally. 

What has been the most impactful part of your job as Secretary of the Commonwealth so far?

Leading a team that oversees such a diverse range of government functions. The many, varied responsibilities of the Secretary of the Commonwealth is largely unknown to the general public, but this secretariat oversees so many process and people-oriented tasks. If something doesn’t fall neatly under another Secretariat, you can trust the Commonwealth team to execute! I love coaching and leading our awesome team members so they walk away from this experience with increased skills. 

What drives your passion to serve?

Connecting people to resources they otherwise may have been unaware existed is my favorite form of problem solving. Our government should be transparent and accessible – but equally as important is bring awareness to what programs already exist.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

My father’s side of the family is Greek! I love Greek food, fashion and culture. My grandfather was very much like the dad depicted in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

About Kelly Gee

In August 2023, Governor Youngkin appointed Kelly Gee to serve as the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Secretary Gee spent the last decade in public service, including eight years as a senior staff member to General Assembly leadership and five years at the Virginia Lottery.

Her time in the legislative branch culminated in being named Deputy Chief of Staff to the 55th Speaker of the House. Speaker of the House is a constitutional office, the responsibilities of which transcend party labels. She became well versed in policy development, committee operations, and legislative process.

When Secretary Gee joined the Lottery in 2018, she served on the Lottery’s leadership team as the manager of government relations. She was responsible for managing the strategy and execution of legislative outreach efforts and played an active role in policy creation and implementation. In June 2022, she was appointed by Governor Youngkin to serve as the Executive Director. During her time as Executive Director, the agency reported record sales of $4.6 billion, record profits for K-12 education of $867 million, regulated sports betting activity that saw over $5 billion wagered in a fiscal year, and assisted in the opening of three of Virginia’s first land based casinos.

Secretary Gee holds an undergraduate degree in Government from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Arts in Political Science from Virginia Tech.

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