National Governors Association

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National Governors Association
NGA logo.JPG
Chairman:Mary Fallin (2013-2014)
Year created:1908
The National Governors Association (NGA) is a bipartisan organization that includes governors from the fifty states, three territories, and two commonwealths.

Founded in 1908, the NGA provides governors and senior staff with various services, such as representing states on Capitol Hill and developing and implementing policy solutions.[1]

The 2012 Consolidated Financial Report of the NGA and NGA Center for Best Practices showed the organization with assets totaling $45,830,210.[2]

Mission Statement

The National Governors Association posts their mission on their website. "The National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, speak with a collective voice on national policy and develop innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism."[1]


The National Governors Association identifies important issues and together focus on matters of public policy and governance at the state and national levels. The association also represents states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues and develops and implements solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. The NGA also provides management and technical assistance to both new and incumbent governors and their senior staff members.

Common Core

See also: Common Core

Recently the NGA Center for Best Practices has taken an active role in the area of educational policy. According to their website, "The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the NGA Center and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia developed a common core of state standards in English language arts and mathematics for grades k-12."[3] The NGA received millions of dollars in grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation "to work with state policymakers on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards" in order to make the effort state led.[4] In just two years, between 2008 and 2010, 45 states and the District of Columbia had fully adopted the Common Core State Standards.[5]


Best Practices Center

The NGA Best Practices Center describes itself as "the only policy research and development firm that directly serves the nation's governors by developing innovative solutions to today's most pressing public policy challenges."[6]

Click here to view larger-scale image of the National Governors Association Organizational Chart as of November 20, 2013.

The Center consists of five divisions:


The NGA is led by a nine-person committee. Elected annually, the Executive Committee supervises the association’s operations.[7]


Committee members for 2013-2014 were announced on August 4, 2013. The current term runs though July 2014.[8]

NGA Executive Committee
Chair Republican Party Governor Mary Fallin, Oklahoma
Vice Chair Democratic Party Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado
Member Democratic Party Governor Mike Beebe, Arkansas
Member Democratic Party Governor Jack Markell, Delaware
Member Republican Party Governor Terry Branstad, Iowa
Member Democratic Party Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota
Member Democratic Party Governor Steve Bullock, Montana
Member Republican Party Governor Gary Herbert, Utah
Member Republican Party Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin

Alongside the Executive Committee there are five additional committees:[9]

  • Economic Development and Commerce Committee
  • Natural Resources Committee
  • Education and Workforce Committee
  • Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee
  • Health and Human Services Committee

Former NGA Chairs

Chair's Initiative

Since 1985, the NGA chair has chosen a policy area to focus on during their term. It is known as the "Chair's Initiative." The following is a chart of NGA chairs since 1985 and their chosen initiative.[10]

List of Former NGA Chairs from 1985-Present
Tenure Name State Party Initiative
2013–14 Mary Fallin Oklahoma Ends.png Republican America Works: Education and Training for Tomorrow's Jobs
2012–13 Jack Markell Delaware Electiondot.png Democratic A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilities
2011–12 Dave Heineman Nebraska Ends.png Republican Growing State Economies
2010–11 Christine Gregoire Washington Electiondot.png Democratic Complete to Compete
2010 Joe Manchin West Virginia Electiondot.png Democratic (Served part term)
2009–10 Jim Douglas Vermont Ends.png Republican Rx for Health Reform: Affordable, Accessible, Accountable
2008–09 Ed Rendell Pennsylvania Electiondot.png Democratic Strengthening Our Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future
2007–08 Tim Pawlenty Minnesota Ends.png Republican Securing a Clean Energy Future
2006–07 Janet Napolitano Arizona Electiondot.png Democratic Innovation America
2005–06 Mike Huckabee Arkansas Ends.png Republican Healthy America: Wellness Where We Live, Work and Learn
2004–05 Mark Warner Virginia Electiondot.png Democratic Redesigning the American High School
2003–04 Dirk Kempthorne Idaho Ends.png Republican A Lifetime of Health and Dignity
2002–03 Paul E. Patton Kentucky Electiondot.png Democratic Reaching New Heights: Turning Around Low-Performing Schools
2001–02 John Engler Michigan Ends.png Republican State Leadership in the 21st Century
2000–01 Parris Glendening Maryland Electiondot.png Democratic Where Do We Grow From Here?
1999–00 Mike Leavitt Utah Ends.png Republican Strengthening the American State in a New Global Economy
1998–99 Thomas R. Carper Delaware Electiondot.png Democratic Smartkids4ourfuture: Preparing Kids for Success
1997–98 George Voinovich Ohio Ends.png Republican Investing in America’s Future: Working Harder, Working Smarter
1996–97 Bob Miller Nevada Electiondot.png Democratic Early Childhood Development
1995–96 Tommy G. Thompson Wisconsin Ends.png Republican Ideas that Work
1994–95 Howard Dean Vermont Electiondot.png Democratic Governor's Campaign for Children
1993–94 Carroll A. Campbell Jr. South Carolina Ends.png Republican Partnerships for Progress
1992–93 Roy Romer Colorado Electiondot.png Democratic Strategic Investment: Tough Choices for America's Future
1991–92 John Ashcroft Missouri Ends.png Republican Redefining the Possible: Achieving the National Education Goals
1990–91 Booth Gardner Washington Electiondot.png Democratic Rx for a Healthy America
1989–90 Terry E. Branstad Iowa Ends.png Republican Consensus for Change: Achieving Educational and Environmental Excellence
1988–89 Gerald L. Baliles Virginia Electiondot.png Democratic America in Transition: The International Frontier
1987–88 John H. Sununu New Hampshire Ends.png Republican Restoring the Balance: State Leadership for America's Future
1986–87 Bill Clinton Arkansas Electiondot.png Democratic Making America Work: Productive People, Productive Policies
1985–86 Lamar Alexander Tennessee Ends.png Republican Time for Results

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