Department of Administration
Department of Administration
Department of Administration

Office of the Secretary

​​​​Cabinet Secretary Mark D. Scott

Secretary Mark D. Scott was appointed by Governor Jim Justice to the role of the West Virginia Department of Administration Cabinet Secretary effective November 1, 2021. Prior to this appointment, Secretary Scott served in county government as the Commission President of the Randolph County Commission from January 8, 2017, until October 31, 2021, and as an Elkins City Councilman from April 2001 until he was elected to the Randolph County Commission in 2016.

As a County Commission President in a county without a county administrator, Scott ran many of the day-to-day operations of the county. In addition to his role as the County Commission president, Scott owned an Allstate Insurance business for 23 years, which had locations throughout North Central West Virginia. He began his insurance career in 1989 and retired from that role in early 2021.

Cabinet Secretary Scott earned a graduate degree in Theology from Tabernacle Christian College in 1989.  He also holds professional designations from the insurance industry.

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Mark D. Scott 
Deputy Cabinet Secretary John K. McHugh

John McHugh was named deputy secretary for the Department of Administration effective May 16, 2022. He continues to serve as executive director of the Real Estate Division, a position he has held since 2019. As deputy secretary, McHugh assists the cabinet secretary with planning, organizing, and directing the programs, functions and activities of the department.

Prior to being named director o​f the Real Estate Division, McHugh served as the general counsel for the West Virginia Military Authority, chief of the Legal Section for the Highways’ Right of Way Division, and as disciplinary counsel for the West Virginia Board of Medicine. He also has an extensive background as an attorney in the private sector.​

McHugh is a graduate of the WVU College of Law and the United States Army War College, where he earned a master’s degree in strategic studies. In 2017, McHugh retired from the West Virginia Army National Guard, after more than 30 years of military service, having attained the rank of Colonel. While in the National Guard, he served as Battalion Commander for the 771st Battalion Troop Command, Brigade Commander for 77th Brigade Troop Command, and State Army Aviation Officer. McHugh is qualified in multiple Army aircraft including both fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. He is a veteran of Desert Storm, where he was awarded the Air Medal for meritorious service as a Medevac helicopter pilot.​

John K. McHugh 
Director of Communication Samantha Knapp

Samantha Knapp has served as the Director of Communication for the Department of Administration since November 1, 2018. In this role, she handles all media inquiries, drafts press releases, manages updates to the Department's website, serves as editor of the Department's monthly newsletter, and more.

Knapp also currently serves as the Assistant Director for the West Virginia Purchasing Division, where she oversees the Communication and Technical Services Section. Prior to this position, she managed communication and training for the Cancer Prevention and Control Division within the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University.

An employee of state government for nearly 14 years, 10 of those with the Purchasing Division, Mrs. Knapp holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from West Virginia University (WVU) and a master's degree in public administration, also from WVU. She has been recognized by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) as a Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) and by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) as a Certified Professional Purchaser (CPP).

Samantha Knapp 
Chief Financial Officer/Assistant Secretary Sarah Long

Effective November 7, 2017, Sarah Long was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for the Department of Administration. A Certified Public Accountant, Long has spent many years in the public sector. A native Charlestonian, she went to Charleston Catholic High School and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Marietta College in 1993, double majoring in Accounting and Management.

Upon graduation, Long worked in the private sector at a national "Big Four" accounting firm specializing in auditing governmental agencies, including the overall audit of the State of West Virginia. She began her public service career as a financial consultant for the Finance Division where she served as Interim Chief Financial Officer for the Public Employees Insurance Agency. She then became Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer for the Board of Risk and Insurance Management. She most recently served several years as Deputy Treasurer for the State Treasurer, overseeing the cash management function for the State of West Virginia.

Sarah Long 
General Counsel Robert Paulson

Robert Paulson was appointed General Counsel for the Department of Administration in September 2009. Prior to his appointment, he was an attorney in private practice at a prominent firm in Charleston, WV, and served as Assistant General Counsel for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Mr. Paulson is a native of Washington, D.C.   He received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Virginia in 1989 and a master’s degree from Georgetown University in 1994. He received the degree of Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2002, Order of the Barristers. 

Mr. Paulson was admitted to practice law by the West Virginia State Bar in September 2002, and is admitted to practice before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

Robert Paulson 
Deputy General Counsel & Legislative Liaison Misty Peal

Misty Peal was appointed Deputy General Counsel & Legislative Liaison of the Department of Administration on June 8, 2019. Ms. Peal came to the Department of Administration from the West Virginia Department of Revenue's State Tax Department, where she worked as a staff attorney and federal government liaison. In this position, she also served as the privacy officer for all agencies under the Department of Revenue.

In 2001, Ms. Peal began her legal career as the staff attorney overseeing statewide programs and services for the Family Court Division of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Subsequently, she managed the government relations division for a large statewide professional association from 2006 until 2015.

A native of Princeton, West Virginia, Ms. Peal earned a Juris Doctor degree from the West Virginia University College of Law and a bachelor's degree in business administration and accounting from Concord College.

Misty Peal 
​​​Executive Assistant to the Secretary Shelley Whitehill

Shelley Whitehill joined the Department of Administration as the Executive Assistant to the Secretary on January 11, 2021.

Prior to this role, Ms. Whitehill served as an executive assistant for a national foster care company and as a project administrator for a global telecommunication corporation. She has also worked in retail, holding the positions of store manager, allocation specialist, and logistics manager for several big box retailers, before coming to work for state government. 

Born in Rockville, Maryland, Ms. Whitehill moved to West Virginia in 1979. She attended West Virginia University and is a 1990 graduate of Fairmont State University with a bachelor's degree in business management.

Shelley Whitehill 
Office Assistant Kateland Cantrell

Kateland Cantrell joined the Department of Administration as an office assistant for the Cabinet Secretary's Office on July 25, 2022.

Prior to this role, Ms. Cantrell was a paraglegal for an attorney who specialized in family law and bankruptcy. She also served in the Army National Guard.

Kateland was born in Hurricane, West Virginia, and now resides in Charleston. She will graduate from BridgeValley with her associate's in Paralegal Studies at the end of this year and then go on to finish her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice at West Virginia State University.

Kateland Cantrell