City Manager Tonya Chapman 

 In June 2022, Ms. Tonya Chapman was appointed to serve as City Manager for the city of Portsmouth, Virginia, after a long and distinguished career in law enforcement and public safety. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Chapman served as Chair of the Virginia Parole Board, as appointed by Governor Ralph Northam. Ms. Chapman previously served as the Chief of Police for the city of Portsmouth, becoming the first African American female police chief of a municipal police department in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In January 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Ms. Chapman to serve as Deputy Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Her portfolio included the Virginia Parole Board, Department of Corrections, Virginia State Police, and the Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Services’ Council. The Department of Military Affairs, Department of Fire Programs, and the Department of Emergency Management were previously within her portfolio. 

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Chapman served as Deputy Chief of Police and Interim Director for the Department of Social Services in the city of Richmond. She began her career as a police officer in 1989 with the Arlington County Police Department, where she quickly progressed through the ranks, becoming Arlington’s first African American female captain in the history of the department.

Ms. Chapman represents the city on the following boards, committees, commissions, or authorities:

Hampton Roads Regional Jail Authority, 

Community Policy & Management Team,

Transportation District Commission of Hampton Roads, 

Hampton Roads Planning District Commission, 

Newport Development Authority, 

Southside Network Authority’s Project Committee, 

Regional Broadband Authority.


Currently completing her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Public Administration and Policy with a concentration in Homeland Security (ABD), Virginia Tech

Master of Business Administration (MBA), Virginia Tech

Master of Public Administration and Public Affairs (MPA), Virginia Tech

Bachelor of Science (BS), Marketing Education, Virginia Tech

Homeland Security Graduate Certificate, Virginia Tech

Enrolled in an Inclusion and Diversity graduate certificate program, Virginia Tech

Additional Education:

Virginia Tech’s National Security Executive Leadership Program

FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development School (LEEDS)

Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP)

International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Leadership in Police Organizations (LPO) 

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) Mentoring Chief Executive Officers

Prior Service:

Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services Board (CJSB) - Chair,

Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services Committee on Training (COT), 

Virginia’s Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) - Co-chair,

Governor’s Commission on Parole Review,

Governor’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 

Governor’s Taskforce on Public Safety Preparedness and Response to Civil Unrest, 

Offender Population Forecasting Policy Committee for DOC, DJJ, and local/regional jails - Co-chair,

Hampton Roads Regional Academy Executive Board, 

FBI Joint Terrorism Taskforce Executive Board, 

Virginia Area Maritime Security Executive Board, 

Portsmouth’s Community Corrections Services Board, 

Portsmouth’s Re-Entry and Community Collaboration Council, 

Hampton Roads Chief of Police Association – Past President,

National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives – Northern Virginia Chapter Past President.


National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive’s Civil Rights-Justice by Action Law Enforcement Executive Leadership Award, 

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Portsmouth Alumnae Chapter’s Community Involvement Award, 

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Zeta Iota Chapter’s Phenomenal Woman Award, 

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Epsilon Nu Lambda Chapter’s Humanitarian Award, 

Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church’s Outstanding Achievement Award for Positive Accomplishments and Dedication to the Community, 

The Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals Legacies Award, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Outstanding Community Service Award, 

Portsmouth’s Church and Community in Action Leadership Award, 

Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce Leadership Award.

City Manager Chapman has a loving and supportive family, including her wonderful daughter, Jazmin, and she is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.