Rep. Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly will be the guest speaker at Northern Virginia Community College’s 45th Commencement on Sunday, May 15. Approximately 6,000 students are graduating this spring and eligible to participate in the ceremony that begins at 2 p.m. in George Mason University’s Patriot Center. The event is open to the public.
Connolly is serving his second term in the United States House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th District, which encompasses Fairfax County, Prince William County and Fairfax City.
He serves on the House Budget Committee, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He is a member of two Foreign Affairs Subcommittees: Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade; and Mideast and South Asia. On the Government Reform Committee, he serves on the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia; and the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement.
Connolly has earned a reputation in Congress as a results-oriented legislator who does his homework and gets results for his district. In his first term, he introduced and passed the bipartisan Telework Enhancement Act which requires the federal government to increase the use of telework by federal employees to reduce traffic congestion, improve the region’s air quality, enhance recruitment of a quality federal workforce and ensure continuity of operations by federal agencies during emergency situations.
He has also played a key role in winning federal dollars for transportation improvements in Northern Virginia, including completion of the Fairfax County Parkway, widening the Prince William County Parkway, providing ongoing support for Rail to Dulles and securing the federal commitment of $150 million annually for the regional Metro system.
Connolly is considered an expert on local and state government matters, as well as issues affecting federal employees and federal contractors, two large constituencies in his district. He has sponsored and supported a number of legislative initiatives on behalf of active-duty service members, military families and veterans, including measures to protect them from predatory service fees, enhance Veterans Administration services to veterans, provide more funding to treat brain injuries incurred on the battlefield and assist military families when they must move to a new duty station.
Prior to his election to Congress, Connolly served 14 years on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the last five as Chairman. As Fairfax County Chairman, he oversaw an annual budget of $4.5 billion, the 12th largest school system and the sixth largest office market in the nation. During his tenure on the Board, and with his leadership, Fairfax County earned the title of Best Managed Large County in the nation.
Connolly earned a bachelor’s degree in literature from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University in 1979. He lives in Fairfax County with his wife, Cathy, and daughter, Caitlin Rose.
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.