Skip top navigation

Ms. Anne Holton
JD, Harvard
Professor of Public Policy and Education, Education Policy
Senior Fellow, EdPolicyForward

Contact Information

Send email to Ms. Holton

Phone: (703) 993-8569
Fax: This information is not available

George Mason University
Mason Square
Van Metre Hall 649
3351 Fairfax Drive
MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201


Anne Holton is back as a faculty member after serving as Interim President of George Mason University from 2019-20. Holton began at Mason in 2017 as a visiting professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government and College of Education and Human Development, and as a Senior Fellow at EdPolicyForward, the Center for Education Policy at Mason.

A life-long advocate for children and families in Virginia, Holton has an A.B. from Princeton and a Harvard law degree. She has worked as a legal aid lawyer serving low-income families, a juvenile and domestic relations district court judge, a child welfare reformer, and Virginia’s Secretary of Education.  Holton helped integrate the inner-city schools of Richmond, Virginia as a child when her father was Virginia's governor in the early 1970's. As Virginia’s First Lady when her husband was Governor in 2006-2010, Holton championed foster care system reform.  As Virginia’s Secretary of Education in 2014-2016, Holton worked to increase Virginia’s investment in public education, to promote innovation and the joy of teaching and learning in our schools, and to ensure every student has a successful pathway to the future, especially those in high-poverty communities.  Her life’s work has focused on children and families at the margin, and the crucial role education must play in helping young people escape poverty. Holton currently serves on the Virginia Board of Education. She and her husband, now a U.S. Senator, live in Richmond, VA. They have three adult children, all of whom attended Richmond Public Schools.

Research Interests
  • Education Policy
  • Social Welfare Policy
  • Urban Policy