J. Keith Burdette
Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce
J. Keith Burdette was appointed cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Commerce and executive director of the West Virginia Development Office in 2010. Burdette began his public service when he was elected to the first of two terms in the West Virginia House of Delegates at age 23. In 1982 he was elected to the West Virginia State Senate, and in 1989 Burdette was elected the 42nd president of the State Senate at age 34, the youngest Senate president in the state's history. He also formed the Burdette Group, a consulting firm focused on government relations and economic development. Burdette received an honorary doctorate from West Virginia University-Parkersburg and has received a Distinguished West Virginian Award from both Governor's Gaston Caperton and Bob Wise.