Senator

Dave Marsden

  • District: 37
  • Member since: 2010
  • Localities represented: Fairfax County
  • Committees: Agriculture, Local Government, Transportation

A thoughtful moderate

Partisan bickering doesn't help Fairfax County move forward. That's why Dave Marsden has always put progress before partisanship -- and has the bipartisan support to prove it.

An expert in juvenile justice

Dave Marsden knows Fairfax County can’t thrive without safe neighborhoods. And with a lifetime of experience in juvenile justice, Dave Marsden has become the leader that Democrats and Republicans alike look to for leadership in the fight against crime and youth gangs.

As head of the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center for 17 years, Marsden never allowed an escape. He got tough with gang leaders and created an award-winning education program. Marsden was so successful that Republican Governor Jim Gilmore tapped him to run the state’s Department of Juvenile Justice in 2001 and awarded him the Patrick Henry Award for distinguished public service.

Marsden has won praise from both parties for showing gang leaders there is a price to pay for breaking the law, including the time he stamped out a major gang outbreak at the Beaumont Correctional Center. 

About Dave Marsden

A lifelong resident of Northern Virginia, Dave Marsden has lived in Burke since 1977 with his wife of 40 years, Julia. Dave and Julia raised their three sons, Nathan, Stuart, and Connor in Burke. 

Dave graduated From W.T. Woodson High School in 1966 and Randolph-Macon College in 1970, when he began a career in Juvenile Justice as a Probation Officer with the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. He went on to establish and operate Fairfax County’s shelter home for youth with severe family problems and was later appointed as the first Superintendent of Fairfax County’s Juvenile Detention Center. Under Dave’s 17 years of leadership, there was never an escape or serious injury to residents at the facility.

Dave left the detention center in 1999 to become the Legislative Aide for Virginia House of Delegates member Jim Dillard. In 2000 Governor Jim Gilmore appointed him Chief Deputy and then Acting Director of the 2,700-person Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. After serving for 6 months in the administration of Governor Mark Warner, Dave joined Development Services Group, Inc. (DSG), where he now manages a U.S. Department of Justice program that helps localities reduce youth gang activity and violent youth crime.

Dave has long been active in local community organizations. He served as President of the Enterprise School and the West Lynch Foundation, in addition to coaching basketball, football, and soccer with the Braddock Road Youth Club, (BRYC). He also coached baseball for the Annandale-North Springfield Little League. Currently, Dave serves on the board of Partnership for Youth Board and Protecting Fairfax Cemeteries.

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