Edythe Frankel Kelleher grew up in a working-class neighborhood on Long Island. Her grandparents fled religious persecution and settled in New York City after arriving through Ellis Island. Her parents created an interfaith family long before it was routine. Although her parents didn’t have degrees, Edythe graduated from college, concentrating in economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She later earned an MBA from George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Edythe’s early career was as an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Program Administrator for a Department of Defense contractor, and Property Manager with Legum and Norman. She volunteered for many Democratic candidates, but it was after joining the staff of Supervisor Penny Gross that Edythe discovered her devotion to local government, a passion that has continued for more than twenty years. She was elected to seven terms on the Vienna Town Council and was then elected by her peers statewide to the Virginia Municipal League’s Board of Directors. For the past six years, Edythe has been Executive Director of the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation, working toward the economic development of the Richmond Highway (Route 1) Corridor of Fairfax County. She also serves on Virginia’s Real Estate Appraiser Board, having been appointed by Governor McAuliffe and re-appointed by Governor Northam.
In addition to working in government, Edythe has served in the community, through the Lions Club, American Legion Auxiliary, her homeowners association, and as a PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) and PTSA (Parent, Teacher, Student Association) president. She has been appointed to the Fairfax County Economic Advisory Commission, Merrifield Task Force and the Affordable Housing Resource Panel. In addition, Edythe is a lifelong Girl Scout and participates with a lengthy list of charitable groups, including A Simple Gesture and Good Shepherd Housing.
Edythe and Gary Kelleher have been married for more than thirty years. They have three sons, all of whom proudly attended Fairfax County Public Schools: Mitchell is a graduate student at the University of Virginia, Brian is an undergraduate student at George Mason University, and Dan is a graduate of Hofstra University.