Mark L. Keam, Virginia State House of Delegates
Delegate Mark L. Keam represents the 35th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, which is considered to be the oldest continuous legislative body in the modern world, with roots dating back to Jamestown in 1619.
The District is entirely within Fairfax County, and includes over 80,000 residents living in parts of Fair Oaks, Penderbrook, Oakton, Vienna, Dunn Loring, Tysons and McLean. In November 2009, Mark was elected to an open seat after defeating a Republican candidate, and after winning a competitive four-way Democratic primary election earlier that year. Mark became the first Asian-born immigrant to serve in the Virginia General Assembly.
In November 2011, following redistricting that changed the borders of the 35th District, the voters returned Mark to Richmond for a second two-year term. During his four years in office, Mark has focused on creating jobs, improving schools, addressing traffic gridlocks, strengthening social safety nets, reducing burdens on businesses, and making the government more transparent, efficient, and accountable.
Several bills that Mark drafted have become law in Virginia, including a tax credit to encourage "green jobs,” easing the transition process for military veterans returning home, providing property tax relief for elderly and disabled homeowners, promoting a new high-tech digital forensics industry, and improving the prisoner reentry process to save taxpayer costs.
In the House, Mark serves on the Education, Finance, and Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committees, as well as on the special Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences. He is Co-Chair of the bipartisan bicameral Legislative Tourism Caucus.
Mark was appointed by the Speaker of the House to the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission, which the General Assembly created to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. He was also appointed by the Governor on the Leadership and Policy Team of the Virginia Prisoner and Juvenile Reentry Council, which was established to improve the correctional system. As a part-time citizen-legislator, Mark and his staff maintain a year-round District office in Vienna in addition to his Richmond office.
When the General Assembly is not in session, Mark serves as senior advisor for strategic alliances at Verizon where he works with internal business units and external stakeholders to develop and collaborate on various solutions that use new technologies to solve major societal problems. Mark joined the company in early 2007 after twelve years of public service, in both executive and legislative branches of government.
For six years, Mark was Chief Counsel to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Before working on Capitol Hill, Mark was appointed Assistant Chief Counsel in the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, and had also served as an attorney with the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Bureau.
Mark’s long history of community service extends to a variety of local, state and national organizations. Currently, he serves on the boards of the Virginia Literacy Foundation and the Fairfax Law Foundation Society of Fellows.
Mark is a graduate of the University of Virginia Thomas C. Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership and the Leadership Greater Washington, a member of the Rotary Club of Vienna, Optimist Club of Greater Vienna, McLean Citizens Association, Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vienna Business Association, Vienna Arts Society and Historic Vienna.
He is a former president of the Courthouse Oaks Homeowners Association and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington Area. A lifelong Christian, Mark worships at Vienna Presbyterian Church.
Mark was born in Seoul, Republic of Korea, as the youngest child of a Presbyterian minister. At age four, Mark and his family moved to South Vietnam where his father established a church. In 1975, they fled from the war when Vietnam fell to communism. They then moved to Australia where his father established another church, before eventually moving to America.
Mark received a political science degree from the University of California at Irvine, and had a chance to live in Falls Church, Virginia, while working as a college intern. After receiving a law degree from Hastings College of the Law, Mark returned to Virginia where he met and married Alex Seong Keam, also an attorney.
The Keams have two children, Tyler and Brenna, who attend Mosby Woods Elementary School in Fairfax.