State announces new secretary of administration
Grindly Johnson to replace Keyanna Conner
At the end of a press conference about new public restrictions related to the pandemic, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that Virginia Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner is leaving for a job in the private sector and will be replaced by Grindly Johnson, the current deputy secretary of administration.
The secretary oversees Virginia’s Compensation Board, Department of Elections, Department of General Services, Department of Human Resource Management, Virginia Information Technologies Agency and the Office of the Chief Data Officer.
Northam thanked Conner and called the announcement “bittersweet.”
“Keyanna has been an exceptional member of our cabinet,” Northam said. “She has overseen three elections in the midst of this pandemic, and she has done an excellent job. She led the effort to transition our state workforce — thousands of people — to work remotely in a matter of days, and oversaw the work to ensure that we had the technological infrastructure to make it happen.”
Conner led the Virginia Department of Elections through cybersecurity reviews and technology reviews to ensure the safety of the state’s election system, Northam said. She also hired Virginia’s first chief data officer and oversaw the effort to ensure all levels of government share data with each other. The governor praised Conner as “the greatest advocate for our workforce.”
Johnson, her successor “has deep roots in state service,” Northam said, nothing that she served as “deputy secretary of transportation in the McAuliffe administration and previously served as chief of administration for the Virginia Department of Transportation.”
Johnson also had experience in the private sector working as an accountant, financial analyst and a community relations consultant.