Dorothy McAuliffe

Leader portrait photograph

As First Lady of the Commonwealth, Dorothy McAuliffe has dedicated her efforts to eliminating childhood hunger and improving access to Virginia’s fresh, locally grown agricultural products for all our citizens. She has identified food security and nutrition as key elements necessary for educational success and building healthy communities.

Mrs. McAuliffe serves as Chair of the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide. The Council is focused on eliminating childhood hunger in Virginia, developing local agriculture markets, and promoting community efforts that link locally grown food, education, health and nutrition.

The First Lady is committed to supporting Virginia’s active-duty military and their families. Mrs. McAuliffe is honored to serve as the Governor’s designee to the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. The Council assists in easing the transition of children of military families into Virginia schools, a process that can be difficult due to frequent moves and deployment of their parents. She has made it a top priority to ensure that Virginia provides the most effective supports available in addressing the unique concerns of our service men and women and their families.

Having served as a volunteer over many years in her community, Mrs. McAuliffe recognizes the power of engagement. Under her leadership, Virginia is leading the way to encourage and elevate national service as a pathway for solving challenges in local communities, deepening appreciation for citizenship, and developing valuable workforce training opportunities. Largely as a result of her efforts, Virginia is the first state in the nation to be designated an Employer of National Service.

Mrs. McAuliffe has long been devoted to the arts and education. She has served on the Boards of Trustees of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institution. She is honored by the opportunity to use her platform as First Lady to help promote the unique historical, cultural and art treasures of the Commonwealth for both tourism and educational purposes.

She is a graduate of The Catholic University of America, with a B.A. in Political Science, and completed her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center, where she was a member of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business. After receiving her degree, Mrs. McAuliffe practiced banking and securities law for several years. She and the Governor are the proud parents of five children. Together, they enjoy all outdoor activities and exploring the natural beauty of our Commonwealth, especially our magnificent Virginia State Parks.

Highlights from the Office of the First Lady

  • With one change, this school doubled the number of kids eating school breakfast At Frederick Douglass, the most marked increase in participation came among children who qualify for free school meals. The school was serving an average of 33 free breakfasts to qualifying children last year. Now, the cafeteria serves an average of 73 free breakfasts, meaning about 40 percent of children who qualify for free meals are eating school breakfast. That’s good news for children who might not have been eating at home.
  • Va. First Lady speaks at Shore Food Summit VIDEO: Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe talks about child hunger in school at 2016 Food Summit held at Eastern Shore Community College.
  • Breakfast After the Bell More than 40 people from neighboring school districts who are interested in expanding their school breakfast alternatives for children attended a recent 'Breakfast After the Bell' meeting at Taylor Education Administration Complex in Orange.
  • Hampton raising school lunch prices, expanding breakfast options Hampton City Schools is raising school lunch prices, according to the proposed 2016-17 Food and Nutrition Services budget, while also attempting to increase the number of students who buy breakfasts. Lunch prices in elementary schools will increase 5 cents to $1.85, and middle and high schools will also see a 5 cent raise to $2.05. Food and Nutrition Services Director Edwina Forrest told the Hampton School Board that the division uses a calculator provided by the USDA to determine what lunch prices should be, although a yearly increase cannot exceed 10 cents.
  • Farmers could receive tax credits for donating fresh produce under bill Farmers may soon receive tax credits for donating fresh produce as part of a goal to channel nutritious food to the poor. The legislation championed by First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe would apply to 30 percent of the fair market value of donated food. With a $5,000 cap, the credit is available for aggregated donations up to $16,667.
  • Administrators Create Service Year Action Plan At JMU Summit College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley and Assistant Vice President Drew Stelljes attended a summit about expanding opportunity for a year of volunteer service for Virginia college students Feb. 9 at James Madison University.
  • Va. schools participating in free lunch/breakfast program up 139 percent The number of Virginia schools that have signed up for a federal program to feed children living in poverty has jumped by 139 percent this school year, giving more than 56,000 kids access to free lunch and breakfast.
  • Va.'s first lady says $75K grant will help feed hungry students Virginia’s children will soon head back to school, hungry for learning. And thousands of them will be just plain hungry. That’s why first lady Dorothy McAuliffe said a new $75,000 grant from national anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength will have a real impact on her bid to add 100,000 hungry children to the list over the next 2½ years.
  • Dorothy McAuliffe backs program to avoid the 'summer slide' in child nutrition Of the nearly 400,000 low-income children who receive a free or reduced-priced lunch in Virginia, only 13 percent are getting a free summer meal each day.
  • Richmond among big winners in latest USDA grant program Students at some Richmond schools and in seven localities in the southwestern part of the state will have expanded, year-round access to food as part of a new $8.8 million federal grant Virginia has been awarded.


First Lady’s Office

Mailing Address
1111 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219