Former Governor of Virginia
Author of Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalists
In November 2013, Terry McAuliffe was elected the 72nd Governor of Virginia. As Governor, McAuliffe focused on equality for all Virginians, enhancing quality of life, and building a new diversified economy that made economic opportunity a right, not a privilege.
To keep Virginia competitive, McAuliffe implemented major economic development initiatives designed to strengthen the Commonwealth’s pro-business climate, ensure efficient investment in world-class infrastructure and develop a 21st century workforce capable of meeting the needs of emerging businesses and industries.
A CNN Commentator for Politics and the Economy, he is also the author of the new book Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism.
As Governor, McAuliffe conducted a record 35 trade missions to dozens of countries, personally delivering Virginia’s calling card to business leaders around the globe. As a result, hundreds of thousands of jobs were created and more than $20 billion in capital investment to communities across the Commonwealth, which was billions more than any previous governor. He oversaw the unemployment rate dropping from 5.4% to 3.6% and initial unemployment claims fell to a 44 year low. Personal income rose 12.3% during his term of office.
Protecting the rights of all Virginians was always a top priority for McAuliffe. He successfully vetoed a record 120 bills that would have taken Virginia backwards. In doing so, McAuliffe protected women’s access to health care, Virginia’s world-class education system, the environment, the integrity of our electoral system and kept more guns off the streets.
He made unprecedented progress on the restoration of civil rights to rehabilitated felons who had completed their sentences and paid their debt to society. During his tenure, McAuliffe restored the rights of more than 173,000 Virginians, more than any other governor in U.S. history.
During the McAuliffe administration, the Department of Juvenile Justice reduced its population in state-operated Juvenile Correctional Centers by nearly two-thirds. Virginia achieved the lowest adult recidivism rate in the nation in 2016 and maintains that position today.
McAuliffe won bipartisan support for an historic $1 billion investment in public education and higher education, the most in Virginia history. As a result of his actions, students saw the lowest tuition increase in 15 years. He also successfully secured passage of a law establishing a pay-for-performance workforce training program, the first of its kind in the country. Virginia became the first state in the nation to adopt computer science and computational thinking standards in its K-12 curriculum.
McAuliffe also took the lead in rebuilding Virginia’s aging infrastructure. Through his efforts, $10 billion in new roads projects were announced. The Port of Virginia was saved from insolvency, and he strengthened Dulles International Airport.
Virginia became the first state to be designated as an employer of National Service.
McAuliffe also led the effort to make Virginia the first state in America to be certified to have functionally ended veteran homelessness. In addition, 30,000 veterans were hired through the Virginia Values Veterans program, a six-fold increase.
McAuliffe won bipartisan support for legislation to reduce gun violence in Virginia. It was the first comprehensive gun legislation to become law in 24 years.
McAuliffe was twice elected chairman of the Chesapeake Bay executive council. He took executive action and Virginia became the first Southern State to implement a carbon reduction program.
He served as Chairman of the National Governors Association, where he used that leadership position to assist states as they strengthened their cybersecurity policies and infrastructure.
McAuliffe worked to build a solid cyber ecosystem in Virginia where he created a cyber security commission charged with developing industry relevant recommendations. He was the first Governor to take executive action to secure consumer transactions and the Commonwealth’s data. Virginia now has the most cyber companies in the United States of America.
President Obama appointed McAuliffe to the NGA’s Council of Governors to provide advice on national security matters. McAuliffe also served on the National Democratic Redistricting Committee as the State Engagement Chair to combat gerrymandering and to ensure fair voting districts.
In December 2017, McAuliffe was named “Public Official of the Year” by GOVERNING magazine. He currently serves as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. In June 2019, McAuliffe was named a CNN Political Commentator for politics & the economy.
In politics and business, McAuliffe has worked with people from all walks of life and different political backgrounds. He entered national politics at the age of 23 as the national finance director for President Jimmy Carter. He was elected Democratic National Committee chairman in 2000 and served until 2005. He co-chaired President Bill Clinton's 1996 campaign for reelection and his 1997 Presidential Inauguration. He was also chairman of the 2000 Democratic National Convention and chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2008 Presidential Campaign.
The youngest child growing up in a middle class family, McAuliffe has been a lifelong entrepreneur. At age 14, he started a business paving driveways for neighbors and local businesses. Since then, he has worked with and led dozens of businesses in diverse sectors of the economy helping to improve companies and create economic opportunity.
McAuliffe and his wife Dorothy were married in 1988. They have five children.