The education of state executive officials

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The breakdown

State Executive Analyses


State executive official reports

State government trifectas
Irregular office changes
Compensation of state executive officers
Gubernatorial power comparison
How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
The education of state executive officials
State executives serving in home states
State of the state addresses
There are currently 188 officials holding the top four state executive official positions of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State. Some official biographies do not appear to include all degrees earned. For example, some officeholders who have earned law degrees do not have undergraduate degrees listed. Thus, the following is based on available information. According to official bios there are:
  • 171 officeholders with a Bachelor's degree
  • 36 officeholders with a Master's degree
  • 107 officeholders with a law degree
  • 5 officeholders with a Doctorate
  • 3 officeholders with an MD
Breakdown of degrees held by current officeholders
Office Bachelor's Master's JD PhD MD
Governor 47 8 26 1 2
Lieutenant Governor 35 10 14 1 1
Secretary of State 41 13 17 2 0
Attorney General 48 5 50 1 0

Most popular schools by degree


  • Yale University: 6
  • Brown University: 5
  • Georgetown University: 4
  • Harvard University: 4
  • University of Notre Dame: 3
  • University of South Dakota: 3
24 schools have two alumni, the rest have 1


  • Boston University: 2
  • Harvard University: 2
  • Oxford University: 2
  • University of Maine: 2
All other schools have 1 alumni


  • Harvard University: 7
  • American University: 4
  • Georgetown University: 4
  • Yale University: 4
12 schools have two alumni, the rest have 1

Most popular undergraduate schools by position

  • Governor: Brown University (4)
  • Lieutenant Governor: No two attended the same school
  • Secretary of State: No two attended the same school
  • Attorney General: Brigham Young (2), Georgetown (2), Tulane (2), Notre Dame (2), Yale (2)


See also Where did your governor go to school?
Governor of Puerto RicoAlejandro J. García Padilla
Governor of New YorkAndrew CuomoFordham University (1979)Albany Law School (1982)
Governor of TennesseeBill HaslamEmory University (1976)
Governor of AlaskaBill Walker (Alaska)Lewis and Clark College, Portland (1973) (Business Administration)University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University) (1983)
Governor of LouisianaBobby JindalBrown UniversityNew College, Oxford
Governor of NevadaBrian SandovalUniversity of Nevada, Reno (1986)The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (1989)
Governor of IdahoButch OtterAlbertson College of Idaho (1967)
Governor of New JerseyChris ChristieUniversity of Delaware (1984)Seton Hall University (1987)
Governor of ConnecticutDan MalloyBoston CollegeBoston College Law School
Governor of NebraskaDave HeinemanUnited States Military Academy at West Point (1970)Army's Airborne and Ranger Schools
Governor of HawaiiDavid IgeUniversity of Hawaii - Manoa (1979)University of Hawaii - Manoa (1985)
Governor of South DakotaDennis DaugaardUniversity of South Dakota (1975)Northwestern University School of Law (1978)
Governor of MassachusettsDeval PatrickHarvard College (1978)Harvard Law School (1981)
Governor of West VirginiaEarl Ray TomblinWest Virginia UniversityMarshall University
Governor of GuamEddie CalvoCollege of Notre Dame
Governor of the Northern Mariana IslandsEloy InosUniversity of Guam
Governor of UtahGary R. Herbert
Governor of North DakotaJack DalrympleYale University (1970)
Governor of DelawareJack MarkellBrown UniversityUniversity of Chicago
Governor of ArizonaJan BrewerGlendale Community College
Governor of WashingtonJay InsleeUniversity of WashingtonWillamette University School of LawStanford University (did not earn degree)
Governor of MissouriJay NixonUniversity of Missouri-Columbia (1978)University of Missouri-Columbia (1981)
Governor of CaliforniaJerry BrownUniversity of California-Berkeley (1961)Yale Law School (1964)
Governor of ColoradoJohn HickenlooperWesleyan University (1974)Wesleyan University (1980)
Governor of OhioJohn KasichOhio State University (1974)
Governor of OregonJohn KitzhaberDartmouth College (1968)Oregon Health & Science University (1973)
Governor of the U.S. Virgin IslandsJohn Percy de Jongh, Jr.Antioch College (1981)
Governor of Rhode IslandLincoln ChafeeBrown University (1975)
Governor of American SamoaLolo Matalasi Moliga
Governor of New HampshireMaggie HassanBrown University (1980)Northeastern University School of Law (1985)
Governor of MinnesotaMark DaytonYale University (1969)
Governor of MarylandMartin O'MalleyCatholic University of America (1985)University of Maryland School of Law (1988)
Governor of OklahomaMary FallinOklahoma State University (1977)Oklahoma Baptist University
Governor of WyomingMatt MeadTrinity University (1984)University of Wyoming College of Law (1987)
Governor of ArkansasMike BeebeArkansas State University (1968)University of Arkansas Law School (1972)
Governor of IndianaMike PenceHanover College (1981)Indiana University School of Law (1986)
Governor of GeorgiaNathan DealMercer University (1964)Mercer University (1966)
Governor of South CarolinaNikki HaleyClemson University (1994)
Governor of North CarolinaPat McCroryCatawba College (1978)
Governor of IllinoisPat QuinnGeorgetown University (1971) (International Economics)Northwestern University (1980)
Governor of MainePaul LePageHusson CollegeUniversity of Maine
Governor of VermontPeter ShumlinWesleyan University (1979)
Governor of MississippiPhil BryantUniversity of Southern MississippiMississippi College
Governor of TexasRick PerryTexas A&M University (1972)
Governor of FloridaRick ScottUniversity of Missouri-Kansas CitySouthern Methodist University
Governor of MichiganRick SnyderUniversity of Michigan (1977)University of Michigan Business School (1979)University of Michigan Law School (1982)
Governor of AlabamaRobert J. BentleyUniversity of Alabama-Tuscaloosa (1964)University of Alabama School of Medicine (1968)
Governor of KansasSam BrownbackKansas State University (1978) (Agricultural Economics)University of Kansas Law School (1982)
Governor of WisconsinScott Walker
Governor of KentuckySteve BeshearUniversity of KentuckyUniversity of Kentucky
Governor of MontanaSteve BullockClaremont McKenna CollegeColumbia University School of Law
Governor of New MexicoSusana MartinezUniversity of Texas at El PasoUniversity of Oklahoma College of Law
Governor of IowaTerry E. BranstadUniversity of Iowa (1969)Drake University School of Law (1974)
Governor of VirginiaTerry McAuliffeCatholic UniversityGeorgetown Law School
Governor of PennsylvaniaTom CorbettLebanon Valley CollegeSt. Mary's University School (1975)

Lieutenant Governors

Lieutenant Governor of MontanaAngela McLeanUniversity of Montana Western in Dillon, 1994University of Montana, 2000
Lieutenant Governor of MarylandAnthony G. BrownHarvard College (1984)Harvard Law School (1992)
Lieutenant Governor of IdahoBrad LittleUniversity of Idaho
Lieutenant Governor of WashingtonBrad OwenWalla Walla College Honorary Doctorate
Lieutenant Governor of MichiganBrian CalleyMichigan State University (1998)Grand Valley State University (2000)
Lieutenant Governor of NevadaBrian KrolickiStanford University
Lieutenant Governor of AlaskaByron Mallott
Lieutenant Governor of FloridaCarlos Lopez-CanteraUniversity of Miami (1996)
Lieutenant Governor of GeorgiaCasey Cagle
Lieutenant Governor of KentuckyCrit LuallenCentre College (1974)
Lieutenant Governor of North CarolinaDan ForestUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte (1993)University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Lieutenant Governor of TexasDavid DewhurstUniversity of Arizona
Lieutenant Governor of North DakotaDrew WrigleyUniversity of North Dakota, Grand Rapids, 1988American University, Washington, D.C. (1991)
Lieutenant Governor of Rhode IslandElizabeth RobertsBrown University (1978)Boston University (1984)
Lieutenant Governor of CaliforniaGavin NewsomSanta Clara University (1989)
Lieutenant Governor of LouisianaJay DardenneLouisiana State UniversityLouisiana State University
Lieutenant Governor of KansasJeff ColyerGeorgetown University (1981) (Economics, Pre-Med)Cambridge University (1982) (International Relations)University of Kansas (1986)
Lieutenant Governor of West VirginiaJeffrey KesslerWest Liberty State College, 1977West Virginia University College of Law, 1981
Lieutenant Governor of PennsylvaniaJim CawleyTemple UniversityTemple University School of Law
Lieutenant Governor of New MexicoJohn A. Sanchez
Lieutenant Governor of South CarolinaJohn McGill
Lieutenant Governor of NebraskaJohn Nelson (Nebraska)University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1957Creighton University, 1964
Lieutenant Governor of AlabamaKay IveyAuburn University (1967)
Lieutenant Governor of New JerseyKim GuadagnoUrsinus College (1980)American University Washington College of Law (1983)
Lieutenant Governor of IowaKim ReynoldsNorthwest Missouri State University
Lieutenant Governor of OhioMary TaylorUniversity of AkronUniversity of Akron
Lieutenant Governor of DelawareMatthew DennUniversity of California-BerkeleyYale University Law School
Lieutenant Governor of South DakotaMatthew MichelsUniversity of South Dakota (1982)University of South Dakota (1985)
Lieutenant Governor of ConnecticutNancy Wyman
Lieutenant Governor of MissouriPeter KinderSt. Mary's University, Texas (1979)
Lieutenant Governor of VermontPhillip ScottUniversity of Vermont (1980)
Lieutenant Governor of VirginiaRalph NorthamVirginia Military InstituteEastern Virginia Medical School
Lieutenant Governor of WisconsinRebecca KleefischUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison
Lieutenant Governor of New YorkRobert DuffyRochester Institute of Technology (1993)Syracuse University’s Maxwell School (1998)
Lieutenant Governor of TennesseeRon RamseyEast Tennessee State University, 1978
Lieutenant Governor of HawaiiShan TsutsuiUniversity of Hawaii-Manoa (1994)
Lieutenant Governor of IllinoisSheila SimonUniversity of Wittenberg (1983)Georgetown University School of Law (1987)
Lieutenant Governor of UtahSpencer CoxUtah State UniversityWashington and Lee Law School
Lieutenant Governor of IndianaSue EllspermannPurdue University (1982)University of Louisville (1996)University of Louisville (1996)
Lieutenant Governor of MississippiTate ReevesMillsaps College
Lieutenant Governor of OklahomaTodd LambOklahoma State UniversityOklahoma City University School of Law
Lieutenant Governor of MinnesotaYvonne Prettner SolonUniversity of Minnesota, Duluth (1979)University of Minnesota, Duluth (1981)

Attorneys General

Attorney General of South CarolinaAlan WilsonFrancis Marion University (1996)University of South Carolina School of Law (2002)
Attorney General of DelawareBeau BidenUniversity of PennsylvaniaSyracuse University College of Law
Attorney General of MichiganBill SchuetteGeorgetown University (1976)University of San Francisco School of Law (1979)
Attorney General of VermontBill SorrellUniversity of Notre Dame (1970)Cornell Law School (1974)
Attorney General of WashingtonBob FergusonUniversity of Washington, Political Science (1983)New York University School of Law (1995)
Attorney General of LouisianaBuddy CaldwellTulane University (1968)Tulane University (1974)
Attorney General of NevadaCatherine Cortez MastoUniversity of Nevada-Reno (1986)Gonzaga University School of Law (1990)
Attorney General of MissouriChris KosterUniversity of Missouri-Columbia (1987)Washington University in St. Louis (2002)University of Missouri-Columbia (1991)
Attorney General of KansasDerek SchmidtUniversity of KansasUniversity of LeicesterGeorgetown University Law Center
Attorney General of MarylandDoug GanslerYale UniversityUniversity of Virginia School of Law
Attorney General of ArkansasDustin McDanielUniversity of Arkansas-FayettevilleUniversity of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law
Attorney General of OregonEllen RosenblumUniversity of Oregon (1972)University of Oregon (1975)
Attorney General of New YorkEric SchneidermanAmherst College (1977)Harvard School of Law (1982)
Attorney General of New MexicoGary King (New Mexico)New Mexico State University (1976)University of New Mexico (1983)Colorado University (1980)
Attorney General of ConnecticutGeorge C. JepsenDartmouth University (1976)John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard) (1982)Harvard University (1982)
Attorney General of TexasGreg AbbottUniversity of Texas (1981)Vanderbilt University (1984)
Attorney General of IndianaGreg ZoellerIndiana University School of Law (1982)
Attorney General of TennesseeHerbert H. SlatteryUniversity of VirginiaUniversity of Tennessee
Attorney General of WisconsinJ.B. Van HollenSt. Olaf College (1988)University of Wisconsin Law School (1990)
Attorney General of KentuckyJack ConwayDuke University (1995)George Washington University
Attorney General of MaineJanet T. MillsUniversity of Massachusetts BostonUniversity of Maine School of Law
Attorney General of MississippiJim HoodUniversity of Mississippi (1988)
Attorney General of New HampshireJoe FosterTufts University (1981)National Law Center, George Washington University (1984)
Attorney General of New JerseyJohn Hoffman (New Jersey)Colgate University (1987)Duke University School of Law (1992)
Attorney General of ColoradoJohn W. SuthersUniversity of Notre Dame (1974)University of Colorado Law School (1977)
Attorney General of NebraskaJon BruningUniversity of Nebraska (1990)University of Nebraska - Lincoln College of Law (1994)
Attorney General of CaliforniaKamala D. HarrisHoward University (1986)University of California Hastings College of the Law (1989)
Attorney General of PennsylvaniaKathleen KaneUniversity of Scranton (1988)Temple University School of Law (1993)
Attorney General of IdahoLawrence WasdenBrigham Young University (1982)University of Idaho School of Law (1985)
Attorney General of IllinoisLisa MadiganGeorgetown University (1988)University of Loyola-Chicago
Attorney General of MinnesotaLori SwansonUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonWilliam Mitchell College of Law
Attorney General of AlabamaLuther StrangeTulane University (1976)Tulane University Law School (1979)
Attorney General of VirginiaMark HerringUniversity of VirginiaUniversity of VirginiaUniversity of Richmond
Attorney General of MassachusettsMartha CoakleyWilliams College (1975)Boston University School of Law (1979)
Attorney General of South DakotaMarty J. JackleySouth Dakota School of Mines and Technology (1992)University of South Dakota School of Law (1995)
Attorney General of AlaskaMichael GeraghtyUniversity of Hawaii (1974)Santa Clara University (1978)
Attorney General of OhioMike DeWineMiami University (1969)Ohio Northern University Law School (1972)
Attorney General of FloridaPam BondiUniversity of Florida (1987)Stetson Law School (1990)
Attorney General of West VirginiaPatrick MorriseyRutgers College-New BrunswickRutgers University Law School--Newark
Attorney General of Rhode IslandPeter KilmartinRoger Williams University (1987)Roger Williams School of Law (1988)
Attorney General of WyomingPeter MichaelYale University, American History (1978)University of Wyoming (1985)
Attorney General of North CarolinaRoy CooperUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (1979)University of North Carolina School of Law (1982)
Attorney General of HawaiiRussell Suzuki
Attorney General of GeorgiaSamuel S. OlensAmerican UniversityAmerican UniversityEmory University School of Law (1983)
Attorney General of OklahomaScott PruittUniversity of Kentucky and Georgetown College (1990)University of Tulsa (1993)
Attorney General of UtahSean D. ReyesBrigham Young UniversityU.C. Berkeley
Attorney General of MontanaTim FoxUniversity of Montana (1981)University of Montana (1987)
Attorney General of ArizonaTom Horne (Arizona)Harvard UniversityHarvard University School of Law
Attorney General of IowaTom MillerLoras College (1966)Harvard Law School (1969)
Attorney General of North DakotaWayne StenehjemUniversity of North Dakota (1974)University of North Dakota Law School (1977)

Secretaries of State

North Dakota Secretary of StateAl JaegerDickinson State University (1966)Graduate work: University of North Dakota (1968) and Montana State University (1970)
Kentucky Secretary of StateAlison Lundergan GrimesRhodes CollegeWashington College of Law, American University
Idaho Secretary of StateBen YsursaGonzaga University (1971)St. Louis University Law School (1974)
Georgia Secretary of StateBrian KempUniversity of Georgia
Pennsylvania Secretary of StateCarol AicheleCornell University
New York Secretary of StateCesar PeralesCity College of New York (1962)Fordham Law School (1965)
Oklahoma Secretary of StateChris BengeOklahoma State University-Tulsa
Indiana Secretary of StateConnie Lawson
Puerto Rico Secretary of StateDavid BernierUniversity of Puerto RicoD.D.S., University of Puerto Rico
California Secretary of StateDebra BowenMichigan State University (1976)University of Virginia School of Law (1979)
Mississippi Secretary of StateDelbert HosemannNotre Dame University (1969)University of Mississippi (1972)
Connecticut Secretary of StateDenise MerrillUniversity of Connecticut (1988)Attended San Francisco Law School (1974-75)
New Mexico Secretary of StateDianna DuranAttended, New Mexico State University
Wisconsin Secretary of StateDouglas La FolletteMarietta College (1963)Stanford University (1964)Columbia University (1967)
North Carolina Secretary of StateElaine MarshallUniversity of Maryland (1968)Campbell University School of Law (1981)
South Dakota Secretary of StateJason GantUniversity of South Dakota (1999)
Missouri Secretary of StateJason KanderAmerican UniversityGeorgetown Law School, 2005
Delaware Secretary of StateJeffrey W. BullockUniversity of Delaware
Illinois Secretary of StateJesse White (Illinois)Alabama State University (1957)
Alabama Secretary of StateJim BennettJacksonville State UniversityUniversity of Alabama
Vermont Secretary of StateJim CondosUniversity of Vermont (1974)
Nebraska Secretary of StateJohn A. GaleCarleton College (1962)University of Chicago Law School (1965)
Maryland Secretary of StateJohn P. McDonoughJohns Hopkins University (1972)University of Maryland School of Law (1977)
Ohio Secretary of StateJon HustedUniversity of Dayton (1989)University of Dayton (1993)
Oregon Secretary of StateKate BrownUniversity of Colorado at Boulder (1981)Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College (1985)
Arizona Secretary of StateKen BennettArizona State University (1984)
Florida Secretary of StateKen DetznerFlorida State University (1975)
Lieutenant Governor of New JerseyKim GuadagnoUrsinus College (1980)American University Washington College of Law (1983)
Washington Secretary of StateKim WymanCalifornia State University, Long BeachTroy State University
Kansas Secretary of StateKris KobachHarvard College (1988)Oxford University (1990)Yale Law School (1995)Oxford University (1992)
Virginia Secretary of StateLevar StoneyJames Madison University (2004)
Montana Secretary of StateLinda McCullochUniversity of Montana (1982)University of Montana (1990)
South Carolina Secretary of StateMark HammondNewberry College (1986)Clemson University (1988)
Arkansas Secretary of StateMark MartinUniversity of Arkansas (1998)
Minnesota Secretary of StateMark RitchieIowa State University (1971)
Iowa Secretary of StateMatt SchultzUniversity of IowaCreighton University School of Law
Maine Secretary of StateMatthew DunlapUniversity of MaineUniversity of MaineSenior Executives in State and Local Government program, Harvard University
Wyoming Secretary of StateMax Maxfield
Texas Secretary of StateNandita Berry
West Virginia Secretary of StateNatalie TennantWest Virginia UniversityWest Virginia University
Rhode Island Secretary of StateRalph MollisSt. Anselm College
Nevada Secretary of StateRoss MillerStanford UniversityLoyola Marymount UniversityLoyola Marymount University
Michigan Secretary of StateRuth JohnsonOakland UniversityWayne State University
Colorado Secretary of StateScott GesslerYale UniversityNorthwestern UniversityUniversity of Michigan (1990)
Louisiana Secretary of StateTom SchedlerUniversity of Southwestern Louisiana (1971)
Tennessee Secretary of StateTre HargettMemphis State University (1991)Memphis State University (1992)
Massachusetts Secretary of StateWilliam Galvin (Secretary of the Commonwealth)Boston College (1972)Suffolk University Law School (1975)
New Hampshire Secretary of StateWilliam Gardner