Virginia Governor Ralph Northam Named 2021 Appalachian Regional Commission States’ Co-Chair

ARC’s unique federal-state partnership model invested more than $160 million in Appalachia’s economic development during Fiscal Year 2020 

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 3, 2021— Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has been selected to serve as the Appalachian Regional Commission’s States’ Co-chair for 2021. As part of ARC’s unique federal-state partnership structure, the states’ co-chair works with the federal office of the ARC and fellow Appalachian state governors to invest in economic growth and development across the Region.  

Governor Northam is ARC’s 68th states’ co-chair. He is the first states’ co-chair from Virginia since 2004 and is the fifth Governor of Virginia to serve in this role. He is also the first retired Army officer to serve in this position in 24 years.

“It’s an honor to be elected to this role, and I look forward to working with leaders across the Appalachian region to advance our shared priorities and support the region’s needs,” said Virginia Governor Ralph Northam. “Appalachia is a vital part of Virginia, and America, with a unique history and culture, beautiful landscapes, and resilient people. I am eager to work with the ARC to strengthen Appalachian communities, improving their economic health and livelihood through investments in critical infrastructure like broadband, and services like health care, especially in the fight against opioid addiction. By exchanging new ideas, from both sides of the aisle, we can bring high quality jobs and economic opportunity throughout the Appalachian region.”

“I am pleased to welcome Governor Northam as ARC’s 2021 States’ Co-Chair,” said ARC’s Executive Director Brandon McBride. “On behalf of the Commission, I want to thank Ohio Governor Mike DeWine for serving in this role in 2020. ARC’s federal-state partnership is critical to the fulfillment of our important mission, and I look forward to working with Governor Northam, and all Appalachian state governors, to continue strengthening the Region.”

Since 1965, ARC has been committed to continued economic development across the Appalachian region, which spans 420 counties in 13 states from southern New York to northern Mississippi, and is home to over 25 million people. ARC’s investments are made in partnership with each of the Region’s 13 governors.  During FY 2020, ARC invested $161.8 million in the Region, which is projected to leverage an additional $858 million in private investments, create or retain over 26,000 jobs and train nearly 21,000 students, workers, and leaders in new skills across the Appalachian region. 

Learn more about ARC’s impact in each of the Region’s 13 states


ARC’s budget for FY 2021, which is appropriated by Congress annually, stands at a record $180 million. 

About the Appalachian Regional Commission 

The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.