As Secretary of the Commonwealth, Kelly Thomasson leads the effort to achieve Governor McAuliffe’s vision of creating a state government that is open and welcome to everyone, through diverse and inclusive appointments to the state’s boards and commissions, and the restoration of civil rights to returning citizens.
Kelly has served in the McAuliffe administration since 2014 and was sworn in as the Secretary of the Commonwealth in April 2016. Kelly assists the Governor in recruiting and appointing over 3,000 qualified, service-minded individuals to serve on Virginia’s boards, commissions and councils. She also oversees the Governor’s restoration of civil rights to returning citizens; facilitating the restoration of rights to over 150,000 individuals to date. In addition, the office serves the Commonwealth through managing extraditions, clemency petitions, service of process, authenticating documents and commissioning Notaries Public. The Secretary of the Commonwealth acts as the Governor’s liaison to Virginia’s Indian Tribes, as well as the Council on Women.
Before joining Governor McAuliffe’s administration, Kelly worked for Senator Mark Warner for 13 years in a various capacities, including Projects Director in his U.S. Senate office and Director of Scheduling in the Office of the Governor. Kelly is a native of Richmond and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in Ashland with her husband, Clark Mercer, and two children. She is involved in many local community activities, including serving on the board of the Ashland Main Street Association. Kelly was appointed by Governor McAuliffe to serve on the Virginia Information Technology Advisory Council and also serves on the board of Lead Virginia.