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Virginia Governor’s Adviser Named Chief Transformation Officer

Longtime business leader Robert Ward, senior adviser to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin since 2023, has been appointed to help state officials in realizing change and modernization.

Red brick stairs amid green grass lead to the white columns of the Virginia State Capitol building.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has announced the appointment of Robert Ward, a senior adviser and longtime business leader, as the state’s new chief transformation officer.
Robert Ward
Robert Ward

Ward will be charged with aiding state secretaries and agency heads in using transformation and management tools, including planning and tracking initiatives, project management, process improvement, and leadership skill development. He succeeds Eric Moeller, who stepped down last month after more than two years in the role to join investment firm Stonepeak.

"It's remarkable to welcome such distinguished professionals to our team who are committed to enacting meaningful and lasting change across the Commonwealth," Youngkin said Friday in a news release that also announced the appointments of a state lottery director and tax commissioner. "Their experience and expertise will help us build on the progress we’ve made in our first two years and continue to better serve Virginians."

Previous chief transformation officers have spearheaded efforts aimed at integrating new technologies throughout state government. At the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, a previous initiative led by the Transformation Office aimed to minimize citizen wait times using data-driven strategies. It not only reduced backlogs and raised performance benchmarks, but contributed to developing resilience plans for future enhancements. Another multi-agency effort introduced a data dashboard that improved re-entry outcomes for previously incarcerated individuals.

According to the state website, Ward has collaborated with firms across the U.S. and Europe, and has more than 25 years’ experience in leading complex projects, driving innovation and shaping strategy. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with extensive experience in real-estate development, construction and investment.

As the president and CEO at Skanska USA Commercial Development from July 2017 to November 2022, Ward guided development of more than $4.5 billion in multifamily and office structures nationwide. Prior to that he served as the company’s executive vice president and its chief operating officer, leading everything from market expansion to acquiring development rights.

Ward has been Youngkin’s senior adviser since August, offering direction on developing and implementing strategies to manage the state’s owned and leased real-estate holdings.