|9th Governor of the United States Virgin Islands|
|Assumed office |
January 7, 2019
|Preceded by||Kenneth Mapp|
Albert Bryan Jr.
February 21, 1968
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
(m. 1998; separted 2023)
|Education||Wittenberg University (BA)|
University of the Virgin Islands (MBA)
Albert Bryan Jr. (born February 21, 1968) is a United States Virgin Islands politician who is the ninth governor of the United States Virgin Islands, since 2019.
Early life and education
Bryan was born on the island of St. Thomas, to Albert Sr. and Genevieve (Pilgrim) Bryan, the oldest of five sons. He grew up in the Savan neighborhood of Charlotte Amalie, the territory’s capital. As a teenager, Bryan moved to St. Croix, where he graduated from St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School in 1985. Bryan earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wittenberg University in 1989. He later received a Master of Business Administration from the University of the Virgin Islands St. Croix Campus in 2003.
In 2007, Governor John de Jongh appointed Bryan as Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Labor. When de Jongh's term ended in 2015, he returned to the private sector. Bryan was CEO and President of Aabra Group, a consulting firm, and Master Strategies, a recruiting firm. He also was executive director of the Virgin Islands chapter of Junior Achievement.
2018 gubernatorial election
- Campaign slogan: Change Course Now
In April 2018, Bryan officially announced his candidacy for governor and chose Tregenza Roach as his running mate. They won the August 4 Democratic primary earning 39.23% of the vote to defeat former Finance commissioner Angel E. Dawson Jr. and former Senator Allison "Allie" Petrus. The team campaigned on restoring trust to government, stabilizing the economy, modernizing infrastructure, education, healthcare, reducing crime and poverty, affordable housing, and attracting rum distilleries to rescue GERS. Bryan led the 2018 general election with 38% of the vote and defeated incumbent governor Kenneth Mapp in a runoff, with over 55% of the vote. He is the second Democrat to unseat a sitting governor since Charles W. Turnbull in 1998.
2022 gubernatorial election
Bryan launched his re-election bid for a second term on May 11, 2022. In the August 6 primary, Bryan defeated Kent Bernier Sr. with 65.04% of the vote. He won the November 8 general election against Senator Kurt Vialet and two other candidates, while receiving 56% of the vote.
Bryan was sworn in as the 9th governor of the United States Virgin Islands by Rhys Hodge, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands on January 7, 2019, at the David Monsanto Bandstand, which was built by his grandfather Ulric “Sappy” Pilgrim in Emancipation Gardens on St. Thomas. Prior to the ceremony, Bryan and his family attended a inaugural mass at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. The inauguration proceed with military parades and inaugural balls held on all three islands.
Bryan requested an extension to the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program which FEMA approved. Due to shortage of psychiatrists, Bryan issued an executive order declaring a mental healthcare state of emergency in the territory. In April 2019, Bryan stated a new major hotel will be on St. Croix during his first term. Bryan paid off all outstanding debt to the Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority for the current year of 2019 and prior years leading to the government being up to date on payments. In August 2019, Bryan faced criticism from Senators Kurt Vialet and Janelle Sarauw, following his response ahead of Hurricane Dorian. Bryan launched the Envision Tomorrow program to assist homeowners and landlords whose properties were damaged by two hurricanes in 2017.
A member of the National Governors Association, Bryan was appointed in February 2021, to co-chair the NGA Task Force on Community Renewal. On August 27, 2021, Bryan filed a lawsuit to prevent the implementation of Act 8472 which reduces the WAPA board from its current nine members to seven.
On March 13, 2020, Bryan declared a state of emergency with the arrival of coronavirus. On March 19, Bryan lowered gatherings to 10. Effective March 25, Bryan ordered all non-essential businesses to close and residents stay at home. On April 8, Bryan postponed in-person public school classes for remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. A month after transitioning from "Safer at Home" to the "Open Doors" phase, Bryan required travelers entering the territory from several states such as Arizona, Texas, Florida to show a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours. He also moved to close beaches early at 4pm starting July 3 to July 5, ahead of the holiday weekend while bars and nightclubs closed at midnight until further notice. On August 4, Bryan requested the legislature to extend the current State of Emergency order through October 9. Amid Covid surge, Bryan reinstated his “Stay at Home” phase which shuttered non-essential businesses including churches and school campuses for two weeks. On September 8, Bryan stated that all inbound travelers must provide a negative PCR test upon arrival or face a mandatory 14-day quarantine. On November 24, Bryan ordered a soft two-week shutdown for government agencies. On February 1, 2021, Bryan requested the legislature an 30-day extension of the current State of Emergency to March 8. In June 2021, Bryan announced his Vax-to-Win lottery incentive. On July 26, 2021, Bryan expressed frustration with the territory’s low vaccination rate as he aimed to get 15,000 residents vaccinated by September. On March 14, 2022, Bryan lifted the indoor mask mandate but remains in place at ports of entry, medical facilities, nursing homes and schools. In June 2022, Bryan issued an executive order extending the Covid-19 pandemic state of emergency until June 30, 2022.
|VI Tech Stack||April 4–5, 2020||600||± 3.99%||Territory-wide
St. Thomas-St. John
|Department of Finance||Clarina Modeste-Elliott (acting)|
Bosede Bruce (2021-2023)
Kirk Callwood (2019-2020)
|Department of Education||Dionne Wells-Hendrington |
Racquel Berry-Benjamin (2019-2022)
|Department of Sports, Parks & Recreation||Calvert White|
|Department of Public Works||Derek Gabriel |
Nelson Petty (2015-2021)
|Department of Justice||Ariel Smith |
Carol Thomas-Jacobs (acting)
Denise George (2019-2023)
|Department of Labor||Gary Molloy|
|Bureau of Internal Revenue||Joel Lee|
|Department of Property & Procurement||Lisa Alejandro|
Anthony Thomas (2019-2023)
|Virgin Islands Police Department||Ray Martinez|
Trevor Velinor (2019-2021)
|Department of Tourism||Joseph Boschulte|
|Department of Human Services||Kimberley Causey-Gomez|
|Department of Health||Justa Encarnacion|
|Department of Personnel||Cindy Richardson|
Dayna Clendinen (2019-2021)
|Bureau of Motor Vehicles||Barbara McIntosh|
|Virgin Islands Fire Department||Darryl George|
|Office of Veteran Affairs||Patrick Farrell|
|Bureau of Corrections||Wynnie Testamark|
|Department of Agriculture||Dr. Louis Petersen|
Positive Nelson (2019-2023)
|Department of Planning & Natural Resources||Jean Pierre Oriol|
|Virgin Islands Energy Office||Kyle Fleming|
|Bureau of Information Technology||Rupert Ross|
|Office of Collective Bargaining||Joss Springette|
|Department of Licensing & Consumer Affairs||Richard Evangelista|
|Law Enforcement Planning Commission||Angela Campbell|
Ray Martinez (2019-2021)
|Virgin Islands National Guard||Col. Kodjo Knox-Limbacker|
- January 28, 2019: A bill allowing the attorney general to serve for six-year terms.
- October 25, 2019: The Virgin Islands Emergency Medical Services System Act to merge Fire Services with EMS.
- December 2, 2019: An amendment called “Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act” to the enacted Medicinal Cannabis Patient Care Act
- January 16, 2020: The Virgin Islands Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Act
- May 19, 2020: Virgin Islands Cannabis Use Act (resubmitted amended version to 33rd Legislature)
- August 11, 2020: Matching Fund Securitization Act
- August 15, 2022: A bill to increase the amount of funding for retroactive wages from $25 million to $40 million to repay government employees. (Senate approved: 08/30/2022 ; Enacted by Governor: 09/16/2022)
|1||January 17–18, 2019||Miami, Florida||Met with cruise ship executives of Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Disney Cruise Line, and MSC Cruises|
|2||January 29–30, 2019||San Juan, Puerto Rico||Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network meeting on Post-Disaster Recovery|
|3||February 21–27, 2019||Washington, D.C.||NGA Winter meeting|
|4||March 26, 2019||Puerto Rico||Visited FEMA Distribution Center in Bayamon and met with Governor Ricardo Rosselló in San Juan.|
|5||April 4–11, 2019||Miami, Florida, Washington, D.C.||Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Miami and met with FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor in Washington, D.C.|
|6||May 8, 2019||Atlanta, Georgia||Met with Delta Air Lines|
|7||May 21–23, 2019||Miami, Florida||Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit|
|8||June 29–30, 2019||St. Kitts||St. Kitts Music Festival|
|9||July 7–9, 2019||Orlando, Florida||Met with Margaritaville Enterprises|
|10||July 15–16, 2019||West Palm Beach||Met with Cigna|
|11||July 31-August 2, 2019||New York||Unknown meetings|
|12||September 20–22, 2019||Washington, D.C.||Meetings with federal agencies|
|13||October 25-November 9, 2019||Washington, D.C.||Meetings with members of Congress and federal agencies|
|14||December 5–9, 2019||Washington, D.C.||Job for America’s Graduates annual meeting|
|15||February 4, 2020||Tortola||Inter-Virgin Islands Council conference|
|16||February 7–11, 2020||Washington, D.C.||NGA Winter meeting|
|17||July 8–12, 2021||Atlanta, Georgia||Hosted a government job recruitment fair for Virgin Islanders living abroad to return home.|
|18||July 27-August 1, 2021||Miami, Florida||Met with transportation and shipping companies|
|19||October 23–29, 2021||Denver, Colorado||To learn about the cannabis industry|
|20||January 28-February 2, 2022||Washington, D.C.||NGA Winter meeting|
|21||March 31-April 7, 2022||Minneapolis, Washington, D.C.||Attended Women’s NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis to see Aliyah Boston followed by official meetings in Washington, D.C.|
|22||April 12–19, 2022||Washington, D.C., Miami, Florida||Attended National Conference for Workforce Development in D.C. and spent Easter with family in Miami.|
|23||March 27-April 1, 2023||Taiwan|||
Bryan currently lives in Government House in Christiansted on St. Croix. In March 2019, the West Indian Company authorized monthly rent payments of $3,500 for a condo where Bryan would stay while on St. Thomas on behalf of his request.
Conflict of interest
In July 2020, it was revealed that Avera, a company co-owned by Bryan’s oldest daughter and his friend, Michael K. Pemberton received a $1 million no-bid contract from Dept. of Health for Covid-19 contact tracing although no experience. That same month, the V.I. Housing Finance Authority board awarded a $2.1 million contract to The Strategy Group firm owned by John Engerman, a close friend to Bryan who served as his 2018 campaign manager.
In January 2023, Denise N. George, the former official, was dismissed by Albert Bryan Jr., the governor of the Virgin Islands, on New Year’s Eve, four days after her office sued JPMorgan Chase in federal court in Manhattan for its dealings with Mr. Epstein, who died of an apparent suicide in 2019 while in federal custody.
The timing of Ms. George’s firing fueled media speculation in the Virgin Islands and beyond that the suit against JPMorgan was the immediate cause.
But the people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to talk publicly because Mr. Bryan’s office did not give a specific reason for Ms. George’s dismissal, said there had been tension between the two public officials for a while.
In May 2023, court filings by JPMorgan revealed Bryan allegedly suggest Epstein donate $50,000 to certain local schools, $30,000 to the VI Little League and a $25,000 private gift to his inaugural committee in 2018. He was deposed on June 6 in New York.
He fired Virgin Islands Attorney General Denise George, who had vigorously prosecuted Jeffrey Epstein-related cases, on December, 2022. In July, 2023, "George testified under oath that Bryan had personally lobbied her in 2019 to issue a special waiver to the territory’s sex offender law so that Epstein could travel freely, without special notifications or restrictions."
Bryan and his wife, Yolanda Cabodevilla, have been married since 1998. They have two daughters, Aliyah and Sumuyah. In April 2022, Bryan tested positive for COVID-19 following recent trips in Washington, D.C., and Miami, Florida.
- "Governor Bryan". Government of the United States Virgin Islands. Archived from the original on 2021-12-11. Retrieved 2021-12-14.
- "Albert Bryan Picks Sen. Tregenza Roach as Gubernatorial Running Mate". St. Thomas Source. 23 April 2018. Archived from the original on 9 March 2022. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- "Albert Bryan And Tregenza Roach Win Democratic Primary". VI Consortium. Archived from the original on July 24, 2021. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
- "Albert Bryan Becomes Ninth Elected Governor Of US Virgin Islands". VI Consortium. November 20, 2018. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
- "Bryan and Roach announce bid for reelection". Virgin Islands Daily News. 2022-05-11. Archived from the original on 2022-10-09. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
- "Bryan Routs Vialet in Gubernatorial Race, Winning Reelection". VI Consortium. 2022-11-08. Archived from the original on 2022-11-18. Retrieved 2022-11-24.
- "Bryan, Roach take oath in Emancipation Garden". 8 January 2019. Archived from the original on 7 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
- "FEMA Approves Bryan's Request For Extension Of Home Repair Program". VI Consortium. January 30, 2019. Archived from the original on September 26, 2022. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
- "Gov. Bryan Declares 'Mental Healthcare Emergency' Due To Shortage Of Psychiatrists". Virgin Islands Free Press. March 10, 2019.
- "Governor Bryan Says New, Major Hotel Will Be Built on St. Croix During His First Term In Office". VI Consortium. April 11, 2019. Archived from the original on February 15, 2022. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
- "Government's Outstanding Debt to WAPA Paid Off, Bryan Says". St. Thomas Source. August 14, 2019. Archived from the original on June 28, 2022. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
- "Bryan Under Fire After Botched Address To Community On Tropical Storm Dorian".
- "Governor Bryan, ODR And VIHFA Announce Envision Tomorrow". VI Consortium. September 19, 2019. Archived from the original on May 10, 2022. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
- "NGA Community Renewal Task Force Appoints Bryan as Co-Chair". St. Thomas Source. March 1, 2021. Archived from the original on February 8, 2022. Retrieved August 21, 2022.
- "Bryan Sues to Stop WAPA Board Changes". St. Thomas Source. September 2, 2021. Archived from the original on September 28, 2022. Retrieved September 11, 2022.
- "Gov. Bryan Declares State of Emergency, Cancels St. Patrick's Day Parade, Says Carnival 'Will Most Likely' Be Canceled in Response to Coronavirus Pandemic". VI Consortium. March 13, 2020. Archived from the original on October 20, 2021. Retrieved October 20, 2021.
- "Bryan Announces Cancelation of In-Person School Classes for Remainder of School Year; 'Virtual' Ceremonies Planned For 2020 Graduates; Coronavirus Cases Rise to 45". VI Consortium. Archived from the original on July 9, 2021. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
- "N/A" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-06. Retrieved 2022-10-06.
- "U.S. Virgin Islands Special Economic Envoy to Taiwan Anthony Weeks called on Director General Chou". Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami. 2023-03-27. Archived from the original on 2023-09-08. Retrieved 2023-05-10.
- "WICO board OKs $42,000 lease to house Bryan, family". The Virgin Islands Daily News. March 16, 2019. Archived from the original on October 28, 2022. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
- "Company Co-Owned by Governor Bryan's Daughter and Friend Awarded $1 Million No-Bid Contract". VI Consortium. July 22, 2020. Archived from the original on October 6, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
- "Firm led by governor's pal gets $2M contract". The Virgin Islands Daily News. July 24, 2020. Archived from the original on September 16, 2022. Retrieved September 16, 2022.
- "Tensions with Virgin Islands Governor Over Epstein Led to Attorney General's Firing". The New York Times. January 9, 2023. Archived from the original on April 12, 2023. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
- "Jeffrey Epstein had 'close ties' to Virgin Islands governor who fired crusading AG behind JPMorgan suit: Doc". Law & Crime. May 25, 2023. Archived from the original on June 1, 2023. Retrieved June 6, 2023.
- "Fired AG Leading Epstein Inquiry Reveals V.I. Governor Pressured Her on Pedophile's Behalf: Doc". Lee Fang's Substack. Aug 16, 2023. Archived from the original on August 16, 2023. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
- "Governor Tests Positive For COVID-19". St. Croix Source. April 20, 2022. Archived from the original on April 21, 2022. Retrieved April 21, 2022.