Back to Top


Not too long ago, Heather was a student. 

If you ask her where she first got her leadership abilities, she’ll tell you it’s from tutoring a mentally disabled friend in elementary school and being the captain of her basketball team in high school. 

If you ask her about her appreciation for the arts and love of foreign languages, you’ll likely hear stories of her playing the violin and learning Spanish from a teacher who opened her eyes to the possibility of studying abroad. 

If you wonder why she cares so much about open communication, ask her about her experience as a Peer Mediator in middle school, where she first learned that listening often reveals that our similarities outweigh our differences.

Heather understood early on that if she wanted a bright future, school was the place to start.  Her knack for seeking out and utilizing educational resources eventually propelled her into college with a full academic scholarship.  Soon thereafter, she became a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State.  Traveling the world, representing her country and serving U.S. citizens abroad were tremendous honors, but Heather realized that her skills were needed at home.

Now, as a resident of the City of Alexandria, Heather takes pride in her community’s schools.  She believes that all students have a fundamental right to receive the same high quality public school education she did.  This education must prepare them for college, work and life. 

Heather has studied or worked in six different countries.  Her previous work includes experiences at the Arlington Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, U.S. Senate, U.S. Embassy in Maputo and U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez.  She helped facilitate the opening of the first education center within a rural community in India, and authored a curriculum guide while working as an Education Outreach Coordinator at the University of Richmond.

She graduated from the University of Richmond in 2012 with a B.A. in International Studies, and received her M.A. in International Politics from American University in 2014.  She is a 2012 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow, and is proficient in Spanish. 

Heather is also the proud auntie of three nephews and one niece; all of whom are on a path to becoming lifelong learners.


Friends of Heather R. Thornton
Powered by - Political Campaign Websites