State representative Jennifer L. McClellan was born on December 28, 1972 in Petersburg, Virginia. McClellan graduated as valedictorian of her class at Matoaca High School in Chesterfield, Virginia in 1990. She then earned her B.A. degree from the University of Richmond in 1994, and her J.D. degree from the University of Virginia in 1997.
In 1996, McClellan served as a page at the Democratic National Convention. After graduating from the University of Virginia, she was hired at the law firm of Hunton & Williams. In 2005, McClellan ran for her first political office in the Virginia House of Delegates. From 2006 to 2017, McClellan served as the representative for the 71st District in the House of Delegates of Virginia, where she served on the House Education, Commerce and Labor, and Courts of Justice Committees, and the Virginia Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council. She also served as a super-delegate at the 2009 Democratic National Convention, and served as vice chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia. In 2017, McClellan was elected to the Virginia State Senate, where she served on the Agriculture, Conservation & Natural Resources, Local Government, and Transportation Committees. McClellan also chaired the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, and served on the Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission and the Task Force on the Preservation of the History of Former Enslaved African Americans. She co-chaired the Capital Region Caucus, served as vice chair of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, and was a member of the Rural Caucus and the Women’s Health Care Caucus. In addition to her position in the Virginia State Senate, McClellan also served as an assistant general counsel at Verizon Communications.
McClellan received numerous awards, including the Freedom Fund Banquet Award from the Richmond NAACP in 2008, the Leadership Award from the Virginia Housing Coalition in 2009, the Older Virginians Champions Award from the Virginia AARP in 2011, the Health Policy Award from the Virginia Commonwealth University Student National Medical Association in 2012, the Exceptional Dedication and Public Service Award from the Fan Free Clinic in 2014, the Trailblazer Award from the Virginia Leadership Institute in 2015, and many more. McClellan was also a member of the Virginia Bar Association (VBA) Board of Governors, the Virginia State Bar, the Metropolitan Women’s Bar Association, the Richmond Bar Association, and the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Bar Association as well as the Junior League of Richmond, the Fan District Association, the Fan Women’s Club, the League of Women Voters, and the Richmond Crusade for Voters. In 2017, McClellan was selected as a Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellow.
McClellan and her husband, David Mills, have two children, Jackson and Samantha.
Jennifer L. McClellan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 7, 2016.