Pamela Northam became the first lady of Virginia when her husband, Governor Ralph Northam, was sworn in as governor on January 13, 2018.
A former pediatric occupational therapist, science educator, environmentalist and advocate, Pamela Northam has used her professional experience to lead the administration’s work on improving early childhood education in Virginia. She chairs the Northam Administration’s Children’s Cabinet, which is tasked with working across secretariats to address early education, childhood nutrition, and systems of care and safety for Virginia youth.
Until 2017, the First Lady served as community outreach coordinator for Lynnhaven River NOW (LRN), a nonprofit environmental group. In this role, she oversaw advocacy and outreach programs for homeowners, congregations and businesses to help them to become more sustainable.
Prior to joining LRN, Northam taught high school biology. Recognizing a need for STEM in elementary education, she became a national award-winning science specialist and worked to develop an inquiry-based, hands-on curriculum for students in grades K through five. The First Lady has served on the board of trustees of the Science Museum of Virginia, and she is a board member of the innovative Elevate Early Education (E3) School in Norfolk.
After studying at Baylor University and the University of Texas, she specialized in pediatric occupational therapy, where her work included rehabilitation hospitals, teaching hospitals and special education.
The Northams have two adult children: Wes, a neurosurgery resident, and Aubrey, a web developer.