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.
Long active as a volunteer in her community, the First Lady firmly believes that national service deepens Americans’ understanding of the responsibilities, not only the rights, of citizenship, and cultivates the next generation of leaders. In order to expand national service opportunities in the Commonwealth, the First Lad y inspired over 50 institutions to sign on to the “Compact on National Service,” which will integrate service opportunities on college campuses, and helped establish Virginia as the first state designated as an Employer of National Service.
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.
Mrs. McAuliffe worked with the General Assembly to secure $2.7 million over three years in the Governor’s budget to help schools adopt breakfast after the bell models proven to expand access and increase academic performance. Due, in part, to the state incentive funding, 10 million more school breakfasts were served in Virginia in the 2016-17 school year compared to the year before. Additionally, Mrs. McAuliffe helped lead the effort to expand participation in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) among Virginia schools by 297% from 2014 to 2017. Approximately 156,000 students in 341 Virginia schools now benefit from the program, which provides high-need schools an opportunity to serve no-cost meals.
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.
Mrs. McAuliffe has worked to advance the arts and education for many years. 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.