Northam announces pick for secretary of commerce, trade

January 9, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Democratic Gov.-elect Ralph Northam has appointed a northern Virginia business executive and former policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve as his secretary of commerce and trade.

Northam announced Tuesday that Esther Lee will join his cabinet. Lee, who started her career as a CNN journalist, has served as a top executive at Burson-Marsteller, a global strategic communication firm, and worked for other Fortune 500 companies. She’s currently the vice chair of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed her a senior policy adviser to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.

Northam also appointed Brian Ball, vice president and general counsel at the law firm Williams Mullen, to serve as deputy secretary and a special adviser to the governor.

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