Anne Bright Holton (born February 1, 1958) is the Virginia Secretary of Education. She is also the wife of United States Senator and former Governor Tim Kaine and served as First Lady of Virginia from 2006 to 2010.

Early life

Anne Holton was born in Roanoke, Virginia, and is the daughter of A. Linwood Holton, Jr., and Jinks Holton, the former First Lady of Virginia. In 1969, her father was elected as Governor of Virginia, serving from 1970 to 1974. In response to a federal court decision desegregating Richmond Public Schools, she and her siblings attended predominantly black schools near the Virginia Executive Mansion, contributing to her father's efforts to make Virginia a model for race relations. One of her brothers is Woody Holton, a professor at the University of South Carolina.

Education and personal life

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Holton earned an undergraduate degree in economics graduating magna cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1980. Three years later, she earned a law degree graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School. While a student at Harvard, she met her future husband, Tim Kaine. They married in 1984 and moved to Virginia. The couple has three children, Nat, Woody, and Annella.

Professional career

Following graduation from law school, Holton served as a law clerk for Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr. of the Richmond-based United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. From 1985 to 1998, she worked as an attorney for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, where she helped create an award-winning volunteer lawyers' program in Richmond. From 1998 to 2005, she served as a Judge on the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for the City of Richmond. Holton was chief judge of the court from 2000 to 2003. She resigned from the bench following her husband's election as Governor in December 2005.

As First Lady, she launched her signature initiative in January 2007, “For Keeps: Families for all Virginia Teens”, which focused on helping Virginia find and strengthen permanent families particularly for older children in foster care or at risk of entering care. This work led her to a leadership role in the Children’s Services Transformation upon which Virginia embarked in late 2007, which resulted in a dramatic increase in successfully placing and/or keeping at-risk children in permanent families.

Following Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson Randolph, she is the second daughter of a Virginia Governor to become First Lady of Virginia.

Holton has received many awards and honors including the YWCA of Richmond Outstanding Woman of the Year in Law in 2006 and the Annie E. Casey Foundation Families for Life Award of Distinction in 2008.

She sits on numerous boards, including Voices of Virginia’s Children, Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation, and the Advisory Board of Youth-Nex: The U.Va Center to Promote Effective Youth Development at the Curry School of Education. Holton is also active in school Parent Teacher Associations.

In 2014, she was picked by newly elected Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe as Virginia's Education Secretary.


External links

Anne Holton
  • First Lady of Virginia Biography at the Wayback Machine (archived December 4, 2009)
  • National Governors Association Biography
  • KidsCommonwealth Biography
  • "A mansion full of memories for incoming first lady" (Virginia Pilot Online article)
  • "A familiar house" (Roanoke.com article)
  • Anne Holton-Secretary of Education-Virginia Governor's Cabinet

Anne Holton

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