|28th West Virginia Secretary of State|
January 17, 2005 – January 19, 2009
|Preceded by||Joe Manchin|
|Succeeded by||Natalie Tennant|
|Born||1946 (age 66–67)
Charleston, West Virginia
|Profession||Politician, Teacher, Businesswoman|
Betty Ireland (born 1946) was the 28th Secretary of State of West Virginia from 2005-2009, serving as the first woman elected to the executive branch of West Virginia state government. She was also the first Republican elected to that position since 1972. Ireland did not seek a second term in 2008 due to her parents' health. On December 30, 2010, Ireland announced she would run for Governor during the 2011 special election. However she was unsuccessful in this pursuit.
Early in her career, Ireland spent several years teaching in the West Virginia public school system. Eventually, she entered the business sector, when Ireland took a job as an administrative assistant with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance.  She subsequently became a certified pension consultant. 
For nearly six years (from 1977 to 1983), she was the owner of Retirement Systems & Services, a pension administration and consulting firm in Charleston, West Virginia. From 1983 to 1989, she was vice president and head of the pension division in the Trust Department of the Charleston National Bank of Commerce. Ireland moved to Jackson Kelly PLLC.
Ireland became executive director of the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board in August 1998. She returned to Jackson Kelly in 2002 to head its ancillary business endeavors as president of Jackson Kelly Solutions.
Ireland has four children, Chuck, Andy, Alex, and Janie, with her husband, Sam Haddad.
2004 election to Secretary of State
In 2004, Ireland defeated longtime political figure Ken Hechler, 52% to 48%, in a general election race, as Hechler attempted to return the Secretary of State position he previously held for sixteen years.
2011 gubernatorial campaign
On December 30, 2010, Ireland announced her intention to run for governor in the special election that will be held on October 4, 2011. She lost the primary election to political newcomer Bill Maloney.
- Weidling, Jessica. "Betty Ireland, Secretary of State, West Virginia"
- WV Secretary of State Betty Ireland Will Not Seek Office in 2008
- King, Joselyn (June 2, 2008). "Ireland: Glass Ceiling Hangs Over Women". The Intelligencer (Wheeling, West Virginia). Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Porterfield, Mannix (December 9, 2010). "Ireland considers run for governor". The Register-Herald. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- "Tomblin succeeds Manchin as West Virginia governor". Washington Post. November 15, 2010. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- "Acting W.Va. Governor Proclaims Oct. 4 Election". Charleston Gazette. January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
Joe Manchin III
|West Virginia Secretary of State