Hampton, Va. –  Hampton University alumna Dr. Dietra Trent, Deputy Secretary of Education, has been appointed to serve as Virginia’s Secretary of Education by Governor Terry McAuliffe.

“We extend sincere congratulations to Dr. Dietra Trent for her recent appointment by Governor McAuliffe as Virginia’s Secretary of Education,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey. “For many years, Dr. Trent has been dedicated and committed to providing the best educational pathways for Virginians.  Dr. Trent will continue to ensure positive outcomes for students in the Commonwealth. She is yet another example of one of our graduates upholding the Hampton ‘Standard of Excellence.’”

Dr. Trent has served as the Deputy Secretary of Education since 2014. She previously served as Deputy Secretary of Education in Governor Tim Kaine’s administration, and as Director of Constituent Services and Director of the Council on Human Rights under Governor Mark Warner. Dr. Trent earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminal justice from Hampton University, and completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in public administration and policy from Virginia Commonwealth University.

“Dietra is goal-oriented and a natural problem-solver who is already a crucial member of our team, and I am excited to have her join my Cabinet,” Governor McAuliffe said. “She is deeply committed to ensuring that all Virginians have access to an affordable education of the highest quality, and I know she will continue to be a strong voice for our young people.”

Former Secretary Anne Holton resigned from her state government role as the Secretary of Education following the selection of her husband, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, as Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate.

“I have known Dr. Deidra Trent a native of Halifax County, Virginia over the past 20 years and she has always been a friend of HU,” said Bill Thomas, HU Associate Vice President for Governmental Relations. “Now as the new Secretary of Education in the Commonwealth I am positive that she will be very successful in this role. We are just so pleased another Hamptonian is  living up to her potential.”

This post originally appeared on News.Hampton.edu.