Youngkin picks next Virginia secretaries of commerce, finance

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin has picked the commonwealth’s next secretaries of commerce and finance: Caren Merrick and Stephen Emery Cummings, respectively.

“Virginia’s jobs machine has stalled out, and Caren is going to play a pivotal role on the team that will jumpstart our economy and reinvigorate job growth here in the Commonwealth,” Youngkin said in a Tuesday statement.

“Caren is an innovator, a business builder, and a true leader in workforce development — the kind of experience needed to develop talent, train workers, attract investment, and make Virginia the best state to start a business as we set out to add 400,000 jobs and launch 10,000 startups,” he said.



Merrick has 25 years of business experience, according to a news release.

She’s the CEO of the Virginia Ready Initiative, a nonprofit founded by Youngkin aimed at helping workers struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday morning, Youngkin said he had chosen Cummings to be secretary of finance.

“Lowering taxes and restoring fiscal responsibility in Richmond is a primary focus of our Day One Game Plan, and Steve’s experience and expertise will help make sure we deliver real results for Virginians,” Youngkin said.

“Steve shares my vision of respecting Virginians’ hard-earned tax dollars and ensuring the Commonwealth’s budget is managed effectively and efficiently, and he has the skillset and leadership qualities that our team needs to make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Cummings was most recently president and CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in the Americas.

Youngkin will be sworn in Jan. 15.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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