About Us

Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education

Prior to his appointment as Governor Northam’s Secretary of Education, Atif Qarni taught at Beville Middle School in Prince William County, leading courses in civics, economics, U.S History, and mathematics. He also served as a GED Night School Instructor. In 2016, Atif was recognized as the Dale City Teacher of the Year.

In addition to his work as an educator, Atif is a former Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps, and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has also served at the state level, having been appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to the Small Business Commission in 2013.

Secretary Qarni holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology from George Washington University as well as a Master’s in History and teaching license from George Mason University.

Frances C. Bradford, Deputy Secretary of Education

Fran Bradford has spent the past twenty-seven years championing Virginia higher education through the state and federal legislative and policy processes. She currently serves Deputy Secretary of Education for Governor Northam. Prior to this role, she was at the College of William & Mary for fourteen years, most recently serving as the Associate Vice President for Government Relations. Before arriving at William & Mary, Fran served in several communications and government relations roles at the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) from 1990-2003.  In the fall of 2005, she was called on to fill the position of Deputy Secretary of Education during the remaining months of Governor Mark Warner's term. 

Ms. Bradford also serves on the Executive Board of the Virginia Network, an organization that promotes women's leadership in higher education. She previously served as the Chair of the taskforce for the National Higher Education Government Relations Conference (Sponsored by CASE, AASCU, and APLU).

Ms. Bradford earned a Bachelor of Arts from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana and she holds a Masters of Public Administration from Virginia Tech. She also holds a certificate of completion from Virginia's Commonwealth Management Institute. A native Virginian, she resides with her family in Richmond.

Tori Noles, Policy Advisor to the Secretary of Education

Tori Noles currently serves as the Policy Advisor to Atif Qarni, Virginia Secretary of Education. Tori is passionate about advancing equity in education, and works to ensure that every student, school, and educator in Virginia has the resources they need to flourish. Before joining the Northam Administration, Ms. Noles served as the Engagement and Opioid Prevention Coordinator at the Virginia Department of Social Services. 
Ms. Noles graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in Political Science and Philosophy, and previously served as a Governor’s Fellow in the McAuliffe Administration.

Hala Al-Tinawi, Executive Assistant

Hala Al-Tinawi currently serves as the Executive Assistant to Atif Qarni, Virginia Secretary of Education. Ms. Al-Tinawi believes that education is the first step to success and hopes to help make a positive impact on the field of Education in Virginia.

Hala grew up in Chesterfield, Virginia, and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelors's in History and Psychology. She previously interned at the Virginia Museum of History and culture before going on to work as a Middle School History teacher. 

Contact Us

Office of the Secretary of Education
Patrick Henry Building
1111 East Broad Street
4th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 786-1151


For regular U.S. mail, please use the following address:
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA 23218