Jennifer McClellan was elected to the Senate of Virginia in January 2017. She serves on the Agriculture, Conservation & Natural Resources, Local Government, and Transportation Committees. Jennifer chairs the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and serves on the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission and the Task Force on the Preservation of the History of Former Enslaved African Americans. She co-chairs the Capital Region Caucus, serves as Vice Chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, and is a member of the Rural Caucus, Women’s Health Care Caucus, and Fire and EMS Caucus. She also serves on the Southern Regional Education Board Legislative Advisory Council. In 2017, she was selected to be a Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow. Since 2008, she has served as a guest columnist for the Richmond Times Dispatch during the General Assembly Session.
Prior to her election to the Senate, Jennifer was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for 11 years, serving on the House Education, Commerce and Labor, and Courts of Justice Committees, the Virginia Crime Commission (Executive Committee) and the Virginia Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council.
During her tenure in the General Assembly, Jennifer has served as a member of Governor Ralph Northam’s Transition Committee, Chair of Governor McAuliffe’s Transition Team, and as a member of Governor McDonnell’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board, Governor Kaine’s Poverty Reduction Task Force and Commission on Sexual Violence, and the Civil Rights Memorial Commission.
Respected on both sides of the aisle and the recipient of numerous awards, Jennifer has earned a reputation as an effective, constituent services oriented legislator who can find common ground with Republicans while standing up for progressive values. She has been a leader on improving education, breaking the school-to-prison pipeline, criminal justice reform, combatting domestic and sexual violence, diversifying Virginia’s economy, civil rights, and ethics reform. As the only House member to be pregnant while in office, she has been a fierce protector of women’s reproductive rights, children, and families.
Jennifer’s legislative accomplishments include establishing anti-bullying and lactation policies in public schools; reporting school discipline outcomes by race, gender, ethnicity, and disability; clarifying responsibilities of school resource officers; increasing penalties for stalking; strengthening law enforcement tools to combat crimes against children; reforming Virginia’s child marriage laws; authorizing new business models such as benefit corporations; establishing protections against predatory lending; and eliminating mandated waiting periods for sterilization.
Jennifer is an Assistant General Counsel at Verizon Communications, focusing on state regulatory and government affairs for several states. She is a member of the Virginia Bar Association (VBA) Board of Governors, the Virginia State Bar, the Metropolitan Women’s Bar Association, the Richmond Bar Association, and the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Bar Association. She previously served on the Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference, Young Lawyers Conference (Past President), and Corporate Counsel Section (past Chair), and as Vice Chair of the VBA Pro Bono Task Force.
Jennifer’s community service extends to a wide variety of state and local organizations. She serves as a member of the Boards of the YWCA of Richmond, the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Chippenham/Johnston Willis Hospital, the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood, the Moton Museum, and Virginia Premier Health Plans. She is also a member of the Virginia Center on Aging Advisory Committee.
Jennifer is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Junior League of Richmond, the Fan District Association, the Fan Women’s Club, the League of Women Voters, the Richmond NAACP, and the Richmond Crusade for Voters. She is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership’s 2001 Political Leaders Program and 2005 Candidate Training Program, and member of the 2004 Class of Leadership Metro Richmond.
Jennifer has also been a longtime Democratic Party activist and leader at the local, state, and national level. She serves as a member of the Democratic National Committee. She previously served as a member of the DNC’s Resolutions Committee (2015-2017) and the Association of Democratic Chairs (2002-2010). On the state level, Jennifer is a member of the Democratic Party of Virginia Steering and Central Committees, and previously served as 1st Vice Chair, Organization (2007-2010), Vice Chair for Outreach (2002-2007), and Chair of the 3rd Congressional District Democratic Committee (2001-2002). She has been active with local Democratic committees in Richmond, Chesterfield County, and Charlottesville. She served three consecutive terms as president of the Virginia Young Democrats (1994-1997), and is the founding president of the Metro Richmond Area Young Democrats (1997-2004). She served as a page to the 1996 Democratic National Convention and a Delegate to every convention since 2000.
Prior to elected office, Jennifer was appointed by Governor Mark Warner to the Virginia College Building Authority (2002-2005), serving two years as Vice Chair. She also served on the Board of the Richmond Metropolitan Authority from 2004-2008.
Jennifer was born in Petersburg, Virginia. She received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and law degree from the University of Virginia. She is married to David Mills, and has two children, Jackson and Samantha.