Molly Ward, a 1987 graduate of William & Mary Law School, has asumed her duties as Virginia's secretary of natural resources. As a member of Governor Terry McAuliffe's new administration, she will be tasked with protecting and promoting Virginia's natural and historic resources.
A native of Hampton, Va., Ward graduated from the University of Virginia in 1983 with a degree in English before attending William & Mary Law School. During her subsequent law career, she handled a wide range of matters, including cases involving environmental issues, land use, and planning.
Dedicated to the ideal of the citizen lawyer, Ward served as the elected treasurer for the City of Hampton, Va., from 2002-08. She was elected mayor in 2008, and re-elected in 2012, representing the interests of the city and the Hampton Roads region at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission on issues related to water quality, the Chesapeake Bay, and historic sea level rise. She also served as chair of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance and the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization.
Ward has testified before Congress and spoken at the Department of the Interior to a nationwide group of conservation leaders on land conservation and the Antiquities Act. She was appointed to serve on the Virginia Outdoors Foundation by former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine and was on the board that contributed to the governor’s goal of preserving 400,000 Virginia acres.
In Sept. 2013, Ward resigned as mayor to serve as a Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House.
She joins three William & Mary undergraduate alumni in Governor McAuliffe’s new cabinet.
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.