UDC’s Board of Trustees

James W. Dyke Jr.

James W. Dkye Jr.Mr. Dyke is a partner in the law firm of McGuireWoods LLP.  His broad practice covers corporate, legislative, education, governmental relations, and municipal law. He previously served as Virginia’s Secretary of Education under former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, and as Domestic Policy Advisor to former Vice President Walter Mondale.

He is an active leader in the Northern Virginia business community, having served as chairman of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce; chairman of the Northern Virginia Business Roundtable; President of the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation; and chairman of the Emerging Business Forum, an organization focused on enhancing minority and women entrepreneurs’ businesses.

He was elected Chairman of the Greater Washington Board of Trade for 2010. The Board of Trade is the largest regional business organization in the Washington, D.C., area, advocating for the business community in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland.  During his term, he was Co-Chair of the Joint WMATA Governance Review Task Force.

He also serves on the Board of Directors for Washington Gas Holding where he serves on the Governance Committee.

He was included in Washingtonian magazine’s list of “150 Most Powerful People” in the Washington region. He was a finalist for the Washington Business Journal’s “Top Washington Lawyer in State and Local Lobbying.”  He was named by Washington Business Journal as the “Best Networker” in the region and as a Minority Business Leader Honoree.  He also won the J. Michael Brown award from DuPont for his accomplishments in diversity, recruiting and mentoring in the legal profession.  In addition, he has received numerous awards and certificates related to education, government and community service.

He has served or is serving on various commissions and committees, including the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), the Commission to Restructure Virginia’s Tax Structure, the Board of Directors of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, the Governor’s Commission on Economic Development and Job Creation (VA), the Governor’s Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting (VA), and as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of the District of Columbia.  He is a frequent speaker on educational, political, and legal issues.

Practices & Industries

  • Government Affairs
  • Public Finance
  • Education
  • Political Law


  • Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C., J.D., cum laude, 1971 (graduated first in class)
  • Editor in Chief, Howard Law Journal
  • Howard University, Washington, D.C., B.A., 1968
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Richmond, 1993
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, Virginia State University, 1991
  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, St. Paul’s College, 1990
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws, Randolph Macon College, 2009
  • Honorary Associate of Humane Letters, Northern Virginia Community College, 2008

Previous Experience

  • Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia, 1990-1993
  • Domestic Policy Advisor to U.S. Vice President Walter F. Mondale, 1977-1981
  • Law Clerk, the Hon. Spottswood W. Robinson III, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1971-1972
  • Partner, Sidley & Austin, 1981-1987
  • Partner, Hunton & Williams, 1987-1990
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Virginia Law School, 1976-1990
  • Adjunct Professor, Howard University School of Law, 1974-1976

Classes Taught

  • Legal Writing and Business Units, Howard University School of Law, 1974-1976
  • Elected School Boards, Virginia Municipal League, November 1993
  • College Desegregation (Fordice), National Organization of Legal Problems in Education, November 1994
  • Legal Issues in Student Conduct, Virginia Association of Secondary Principals, June 1996
  • School Safety Issues, Virginia Association of School Superintendents, 1999
  • Government, Politics and the Law, University of Virginia Law School, 1976-1990

Speaking Engagements

  • Mr. Dyke has made hundreds of speeches nationally and locally on education, business, government and political issues, and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs and news interviews. He has also been quoted extensively in a wide range of newspapers.

Directorships and Appointments

  • Appointed to Serve on Higher Education Transition Group by Governor-elect Martin O’Malley and Lieutenant Governor-elect Anthony Brown of Maryland
  • Corporate Board of Directors, Washington Gas Light Company, 2003–Present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Agnes and Eugene Meyer Foundation
  • Corporate Board of Directors, American Type Culture Collection, 2004–2006
  • Chairman, Board of Trustees, University of District of Columbia, 2004-2009
  • Member, Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Greater Washington Board of Trade
  • Member, Governor Bob McDonnell’s Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting, 2011
  • Member, Governor Bob McDonnell’s Commission on Economic Development and Job Creation, 2010
  • Chairman, Board of Directors of the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, 1992-1994
  • Member, Board of Directors, Maryland Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, Legislative Committee of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce (invitation only)
  • Member, Virginia State Board of Education, 1985-1990
  • Member, State Council on Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV), 2004-Present
  • Chairman, Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, 1999-2000
  • Chairman, Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation, 2000-2002
  • Chair, Northern Virginia Business Roundtable, 2001-2004
  • Commission Member, Commission to Study Virginia’s State and Local Tax Structure for the 21st Century
  • Virginia Commission on Educational Infrastructure, 1996-2000
  • Member, Commission on Virginia Higher Education in the 21st Century
  • Southern Education Foundation, Chair, Panel on Desegregation in Higher Education, 1994-2004
  • Virginia’s Lay Member, Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, 2001-2003
  • Chairman, Metropolitan Council of Chambers of Commerce, 1999-2000
  • Member, Governor Gilmore’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education, 1998-2000
  • Commonwealth of Virginia, Joint Commission on Technology and Science
  • Advisory Committee on the Year 2000
  • Advisory Committee on Technology-Based Economic Growth in Virginia
  • Advisory Board Member, George Washington University Virginia Campus
  • Arts Council of Fairfax
  • Bond Counsel, District of Columbia, 1982-1990
  • Former Chairman of the District of Columbia Retirement Board
  • Former Chairman, Compensation Board, Commonwealth of Virginia


  • District of Columbia 1972
  • Virginia 1991
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Place of Birth

  • Washington, D.C.

Contact the Office of the Board of Trustees

Althia Henry
Special Assistant
Tel: 202.274.5700