Charniele Herring has been elected the first black chairwoman of the Virginia’s Democratic Party. Herring is the first African American to ever head a major political party. She is a three-term state delegate. Herring was elected to the General Assembly in January 2009 and she is the first black woman from Northern Virginia ever elected to the Virginia legislature.

Herring was born in the Dominican Republic during her father’s tenure in the military. When her family separated, she and her mother lived in a homeless shelter for a short time. They later settled in Alexandria. It was because of this experience that Delegate Herring chose to give back to her community by working with the Volunteer in Service to America with Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services in Alexandria, Virginia.

Herring has been involved in politics since she was only 13 years old. She testified before a committee serving President Ronald Reagan’s White House about the need for continued health care coverage for military children. She is the former president of the West End Business Association and serves on the Boards of Directors for the Hopkins House and the Parent Leadership Training Institute of Alexandria.

Charniele Herring is a recipient of the Monsignor Geno Baroni Award for Social Justice. She also received the Rookie of the Year award from the Virginia Education Association in 2009.

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