Shannon Valentine

 Former Secretary of Transportation for the Commonwealth of Virginia

Shannon Valentine served as Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation during Governor Ralph Northam’s administration (2018 to 2022), overseeing a $6 billion transportation system that includes the Department of Rail & Public Transportation, Port of Virginia, Virginia Space Authority, Department of Aviation, Virginia Department of Transportation, and Department of Motor Vehicles. As Secretary, she also chaired the Commonwealth Transportation Board. During her term, Virginia led an historic multi-state investment in Metro, launched Transforming Rail in Virginia, finalized a 40% expansion of the Port of Virginia, created the Commonwealth Transportation Fund to support multimodal investments, and completed seven resupply missions to the International Space Station.

Valentine is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates (2006-2010), representing the city of Lynchburg and parts of Amherst County, and served on House Transportation, Courts of Justice and Science & Technology committees. Her public policy priorities included transportation, economic development, education, and ethics. She led bipartisan efforts to invest in intercity passenger rail service for the first time in Virginia’s history, expand clean energy, and create transparent government through initiatives in redistricting reform and campaign finance. 

Valentine completed an assignment as a director of the Transportation Policy Council in 2013 for Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe’s transition team, and in May of 2014, was appointed to the Commonwealth Transportation Board. During her time on the board, she served on the Rail and Technology subcommittees, and created the first Regional Connectivity Study that correlated transportation decisions with workforce, business expansion, recruitment, and investment.

For more than 25 years, Valentine worked to create economic opportunity through housing, education, and transportation through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Neighborhood Development Foundation, Lynchburg City School Foundation, and Beacon of Hope.


Key Accomplishments

Valentine was a founding member and first President of OneVirginia2021 Foundation, a multi-partisan movement advocating for redistricting reform in Virginia (2013-2017). She was named Transportation Woman of the Year in 2017 and 2021 by WTS Central Virginia, awarded the inaugural Covington-Richards Legislative Achievement Award by Virginians for High Speed Rail, and named the 2020 Distinguished Public Official Award by the Virginia Transit Association. She has been honored with the Humanitarian Award by the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities; Democracy in Action Award by the League of Women Voters; Freedom Fighter Award by the NAACP; Woman of the Year in Government by the YWCA; and the Commonwealth Autism Services Award. Valentine received an honorary doctorate in law from the Virginia University of Lynchburg (HBCU) and an honorary doctorate in rocket science from NASA. 


Industries and Areas of Expertise: multimodal transportation, public-private partnerships, infrastructure, public policy, legislation, communications, politics, redistricting, sustainability. 



Valentine received her bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Virginia in 1981. She graduated from the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at UVA (2005), and completed Education for Ministry, a four-year program through the Sewanee University School of Theology (2000).


Personal Background

Valentine is married to Dr. Michael Valentine and has three children, Catherine, Jack, and Brooke.