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Commencement Speaker

Lieutenant Governor Justin E. Fairfax

Lieutenant Governor Justin E. Fairfax

Commonwealth of Virginia

Mr. Justin Fairfax was elected Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia on November 7, 2017. He is only the second African-American in history, and the first in nearly 30 years since the tenure of Governor L. Douglas Wilder, to be elected to statewide office in Virginia. His Inauguration took place on January 13, 2018.

Fairfax, at only 38-years-old, has been recognized as one of the top young attorneys in the nation and a rising star in American politics. He is a prominent and highly successful lawyer, political figure, philanthropist, and a proud husband, father, and community leader. In 2013, at the age of 34, he was awarded the National Bar Association’s “Nation’s Best Advocates Award,” which recognizes 40 top attorneys nationwide under the age of 40. He most recently served as a top commercial and white-collar criminal litigator in the Northern Virginia office of the prestigious law firm, Venable, LLP, which he departed in January 2018 to focus on his duties as Lieutenant Governor during his first General Assembly session.

He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia in the Major Crimes and Narcotics Unit of the Alexandria Division. During his tenure as a federal prosecutor, he was appointed to serve as the Deputy Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. Prior to his service as a federal prosecutor, he worked as a litigator at Wilmer Hale, LLP in Washington, D.C., following his stint as a federal law clerk to United States District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.

Fairfax received a scholarship to attend Columbia Law School where he was selected to be a member of the Columbia Law Review and earned his Juris Doctorate in 2005. Previously, he earned a scholarship to attend Duke University where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in Public Policy Studies and was selected as the class graduation speaker for the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy.

Fairfax Family

Fairfax went on to serve a three-year term on the Duke University Board of Trustees and is currently serving his third three-year term on the Board of Visitors of the Duke University Terry Sanford School of Public Policy.

Fairfax’s wife, Cerina W. Fairfax, DDS, is a graduate of the VCU School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA and of Duke University. In 2015, Dr. Fairfax was honored by the VCU School of Dentistry as the Most Outstanding Alumna of the Last Decade. The Fairfaxes have one son, Cameron, and one daughter, Carys, and live in Northern Virginia where they own a home and a thriving family dental practice.