THE CHANGE OF command in Virginia--

ordered by a strong popular vote for new blood in the Statehouse--is under way impressively. In his selections for the cabinet of the next state administration, Gov.-Elect Charles S. Robb has tapped highly professional talent reflecting a recognition not only of Northern Virginia's pool of expertise but also of the importance of a more representative leadership in Richmond.

Right after his victory, Mr. Robb pledged to "look beyond the traditional sources" from which state officials have been selected in the past. He has done just that. At the risk of peeving some in his party who had lobbied for more purely partisan appointees, the governor-elect has chosen people with respected records in their fields of public administration. This is consistent with Mr. Robb's promise that, come next month, Virginia can look forward to more than "a caretaker governor"--to an administration with a commitment to minorities and women and to fresh ideas.

For secretary of administration and finance-- considered one of the most influential cabinet posts --Mr. Robb has named Wayne F. Anderson, known in local, state and regional government circles nationwide for his record as executive director of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. He was city manager of Alexandria from 1970 to 1974.

Joseph L. Fisher brings to the job of secretary of human resources a distinguished record of service as a former Democratic member of Congress from the 10th District in Northern Virginia and, before that, as a member and chairman of the Arlington County Board and a force in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and on the Metro transit board of directors.

Sensitivity to minority concerns as well as experience in criminal justice comes in the appointment of attorney Franklin E. White to be secretary of public safety. For secretary of education, John T. Casteen III is to join the administration from his position as dean of admissions and assistant professor of English at the University of Virginia and as a member of the Commission on Equal Opportunity in Education. Betty Jane Diener, selected as secretary of commerce and resources, currently is dean of the School of Business Administration and professor of marketing at Old Dominion University. Andrew B. Fogarty, chosen as secretary of transportation, is now serving as assistant secretary for financial policy in the state government.

How this cabinet jells and how it actually sets policy remain to be seen--as does Mr. Robb's commitment to minorities and women of talent for more than just the high-visibility appointments. But the governor-elect's accent on more representation, competence and experience--as well as his recognition of Northern Virginia as an integral and contributing part of the state--bodes well.