Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, Ph.D.
Kenneth Cooper Alexander was elected Mayor of the City of Norfolk on May 3, 2016. A native of Norfolk and president of Metropolitan Funeral Service, he began his public service career more than two decades ago. Before his election as mayor, Dr. Alexander served in the Senate of Virginia where he was a member of the committee on Commerce and Labor, Finance, Transportation, and Privileges and Elections.
He also served on the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, the High-Speed Rail Compact Commission for Virginia and North Carolina, and the Joint Commission on the Future Competitiveness of Virginia Higher Education. Dr. Alexander was recognized as an environmental leader by the Sierra Club and earned high marks for his voting record from the Virginia AFL-CIO and the Virginia Education Association.
Before his election to the Senate, he represented Virginia’s 89th District in the House of Delegates for ten years, where he served as the Chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus. Prior to his election to the General Assembly, Dr. Alexander was a member of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority, City Planning Commission (vice-chair), and Human Services Commission.
Dr. Alexander served as president of Berkley’s Beacon Light Civic League and helped found the Beacon Light Community Development Corporation. During his tenure, to increase homeownership and address a critical need for affordable housing, he worked to create a Federal Home Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) to serve as the local partner for HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The Beacon Light CHDO was established in 1998 and charged with building single family homes through the City of Norfolk’s Housing for Homeownership program. Dr. Alexander served as its first president.
He is a member of the Greater Norfolk Corporation, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance (past chair), the Norfolk Chapter of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association, the Berkley Historical Society, and an alumnus of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership.
A 1985 graduate of Lake Taylor High School, Dr. Alexander earned his Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from John Tyler Community College, completed his undergraduate studies in Political Science at Old Dominion University, and holds a master’s degree in Diplomacy from Norwich University. In 2019, he was awarded a Doctorate in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, his dissertation was titled: Developing and Sustaining Political Citizenship for Poor and Marginalized People – The Evelyn T. Butts Story.
Dr. Alexander and wife, Donna Burnley Alexander, have two school-aged sons, Kenneth II and David.