Kenneth E. Mapp was born in Brooklyn, New York to Alfred Mapp and Vashti Hewitt Mapp. He is one of five siblings. In 1961, he moved to St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, where he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Almina N. Hewitt. Mapp would attend St. Croix Central High School, and graduate in 1973.
Soon after graduating from high school, Mapp was accepted for training by the New York City Police Department, later joining the department to serve in Brooklyn’s 83rd precinct. He later became an officer of the Virgin Islands Police Department, members of which elected him president of the Police Benevolent Association.
Mapp’s public service career continued in 1982, when he became one of seven candidates elected to serve the District of St. Croix in the 15th Legislature of the Virgin Islands. Subsequently, he was elected to serve again as Senator in the 18th and 20th Legislatures. Given his law enforcement background, Mapp won assignment as Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and Judicial Affairs.
When not serving in an elected office, Kenneth Mapp remained active in public service. He was named assistant director of the Industrial Development Commission, now the Industrial Development Authority, and served as Director of the Consumer Services Administration, now the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
By 1994, Mapp had earned the confidence of candidate for governor, Roy L. Schneider, who chose Mapp as his running mate. Their campaign was successful, and Kenneth Mapp was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor on January 2, 1995.
After a four year term in office, Mapp continued his education. He earned a master’s degree in Public Administration at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard School of Business. Mapp also completed other fellowships at Harvard, and at the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. Now prepared to take on increasingly more complex challenges, he accepted appointment by Governor Charles Turnbull to become Director of Finance and Administration for the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority. During his tenure, the PFA secured the first ever investment grade ratings on VI government-backed securities, which provided needed capital for major public sector financing needs, and those of HOVENSA. LLC, the territory’s largest private sector employer at the time. Given his expertise in finance and management, Mapp oversaw major capital projects, and provided the Governor with detailed analysis to support credible budget projections for Legislative approval.
On January 6, 2015, Kenneth E. Mapp was sworn in as the eighth elected Governor of the United States Virgin Islands. With his running mate, Osbert E. Potter, the team earned nearly 64% of the popular vote in a run-off election held on November 18, 2014. Expressing his great pride and joy to have his 95 year old mother witness his inauguration, Governor Mapp accepted the uniquely designed Symbol of Office from the President of the Legislature, as he also accepted the responsibilities of his great office.