Levar Stoney was raised in Virginia by his grandmother and his father, a custodian. A product of Virginia public schools, Levar grew up on free and reduced lunch and was the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. He went on to graduate from James Madison University, before moving to Richmond to begin a career in public service.
Levar rose through the ranks from Fellow in then-Governor Mark Warner’s office to become the first African American Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the youngest member of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s cabinet.
As Secretary, Levar led the largest, oldest, most public-facing office of the Governor’s cabinet, and was the driving force behind transforming the process that restores civil and voting rights. Under Levar’s leadership, government was made more efficient and rights were restored to more than 18,000 disenfranchised Virginians—more than the past seven administrations combined.
Previously, Levar served as Deputy Campaign Manager for McAuliffe’s successful gubernatorial campaign in 2013, and as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Virginia before that. He led Virginia to an historic victory in 2008 and was, at the time, the youngest leader of a state Democratic Party in the country.
Levar was a 2006 graduate of the Minority Political Leadership Institute here in Richmond, and serves on a number of civic and community boards including the VCU Massey Cancer Center Advisory Board; GRASP, a college-access organization; the Jamestown Yorktown Foundation 2019 Commemoration; and the Ujima Legacy Fund. He is also a proud member of Richmond Crusade for Voters and the NAACP.