RICHMOND, Va. — Republican Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin is continuing to build out his cabinet and staff with a mix of professionals with both government and private sector experience ahead of his inauguration. The political newcomer announced a handful of key appointees this week, including his chief of staff, counselor, and secretary of veterans and defense affairs.
Youngkin's chief of staff will be Jeff Goettman. Goettman served as the Chief Operating Officer and Policy Director for the Youngkin campaign and as the Transition Director post-election.
Goettman was appointed as the executive vice president and chief operating officer at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) in June 2017 to provide executive leadership to the export finance banking teams and the business administration activities of its 400+ employees. Starting in September 2019, Jeff also served as a Counselor for Domestic Finance in the U.S. Department of Treasury which included standing up the Operations Group that administered the $80 billion CARES Act program for the airline industry.
Before that, he had a career in private equity and investment banking.
Youngkin's team also announced his pick for deputy chief of staff as Virginia native Becca Glover. Glover has spent 20 years in media relations, serving as Director at the Brunswick Group for the last two years. Before that, she led communications at the U.S. Department of Commerce and served as communications director for U.S. Senator Richard Burr.
Richard Cullen, a senior partner at the McGuireWoods law firm who previously served as Virginia's Attorney General in 1997, was tapped as counselor to the governor.
“I am excited to welcome this group of leaders with a record of experience and serving others. These qualified individuals with various backgrounds bring vast experience that ensure we will deliver on our Day One promises for all Virginians in making Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family," Youngkin said in a statement.
Youngkin's team also announced its selection for Agriculture of Forestry Secretary will be Matt Lohr, and Joseph Guthrie will serve as Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Lohr is a fifth-generation farmer who was raised in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Over the past two years, he has served as the chief of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2006-2010 before being appointed as the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Guthrie currently serves as a senior instructor at Virginia Tech and has been teaching courses in business management, finance, communications, and leadership in the Agricultural Technology Program since 2007. He also owns and has operated a beef cattle and hay farm in Pulaski County.
In 2011, he was elected to a four-year term on the Pulaski County School Board. In 2015, was elected to a four-year term on the county’s Board of Supervisors. He was re-elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2019 and elected Chair of the board by his peers in 2020 and 2021.
“Agriculture is the Commonwealth’s largest independent industry and plays a crucial role in Virginia’s economy and communities. Matt, and Joseph bring decades worth of hands-on experience that will give Virginia a competitive advantage in the agriculture industry. Together, we will deliver for our ranchers, farmers, and all Virginians to help ensure our farmers and ranchers thrive,” Youngkin said in a release.
On Wednesday, Yougkin tapped Andrew Wheeler as his pick for secretary of natural resources. Wheeler is a former coal lobbyist who served as a chief in the Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency.
During the Trump administration, the EPA ordered a sweeping about-face on Obama-era efforts to fight climate change and moved to ease restrictions on coal-fired power plants.
Wheeler also worked at the EPA early in his career, in the Pollution Prevention and Toxics office. He then worked from 1995 to 2009 as a staffer for Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a fervent denier of man-made climate change, and then for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee,
In November, Youngkin announced that Wheeler would be part of a work group focused on the secretariat helping guide the transition.
Michael Rolband, the founder of a natural and historic resources consulting firm, was tapped by the governor-elect to head Department of Environmental Quality. The position involves overseeing such policy topics as conservation, climate change and Chesapeake Bay restoration and agencies including the DEQ, the Department of Wildlife Resources and the Department of Historic Resources.
Also Wednesday, Youngkin announced his pick for secretary of administration, Margaret “Lyn” McDemid, a former longtime employee of the Federal Reserve System, who served there as chief information officer and director of Federal Reserve information technology.
The governor-elect previously announced Aimee Rogstad Guidera as his Education Secretary last month.
Youngkin will be sworn in as the Governor of Virginia on January 15.