National Governors Association

The National Governors Association (NGA) is an American political organization founded in 1908. The association's members are the governors of the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. Members come from across the political spectrum. NGA declares itself as nonpartisan.

National Governors Association
ChairJared Polis (D-CO)
Vice ChairKevin Stitt (R-OK)
Executive CommitteeSpencer Cox (R-UT)
Greg Gianforte (R-MT)
Kathy Hochul (D-NY)
Jeff Landry (R-LA)
Bill Lee (R-TN)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
Josh Shapiro (D-PA)
Founded1908; 116 years ago (1908)
Headquarters444 N Capitol St
Suite 267
Washington, D.C., U.S.

The NGA serves as a public policy liaison between state governments and the federal government. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and at the White House when discussing federal issues to developing policy reports on state programs and hosting networking seminars for state executive branch officials. The NGA Center for Best Practices focuses on state innovations and best practices on issues that range from education and health to technology, welfare reform, and the environment. NGA also provides management and technical assistance to both new and incumbent governors.[citation needed]

The current NGA chair is Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, a Democrat.[1] The current vice chair is Governor Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, a Republican.[2]


Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Governors Association's 2020 winter meeting.

In 1907, the Inland Waterways Commission thought it necessary to ask the Conference of Governors to provide both state and national views relating to practical questions dealing with natural resources utilization and management in the Progressive Era.[3] The NGA represents the governors of the fifty U.S. states and five U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). It is funded primarily by state dues, federal grants and contracts, and private contributions.[4]

NGA adopted a policy in 1977 formalizing its standard practice dating back to 1941: The position of NGA chair alternates yearly between Republican and Democratic governors, so that neither party can control the position for two consecutive years. The vice chair is of the opposite party to the chair, and generally assumes the role of NGA chair the following year.

As of January 2024, Bill Clinton is the only former NGA chair to become president of the United States. Janet Napolitano became the first female chair in 2006.[5]

The association's declaration of bipartisanship has been challenged after incidents such as statements made at the White House and on air by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal during the 2014 annual summer meeting.[6]

In February 2020, then Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the National Governors Association that the Chinese Communist Party was actively attempting to influence U.S. policy through state governors and local officials.[7] In October 2020, the United States Department of State discontinued U.S. participation in the U.S.-China Governors Forum to Promote Sub-National Cooperation due to alleged attempts by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, a front organization for the CCP's United Front Work Department, to "malignly influence state and local leaders" in the U.S.[8][9]



Formally adopted as policy in 1977, chairs preside for a one-year term and alternate party affiliation, so the same party never serves for two terms in a row.[10]

The following states have never produced an NGA chair: Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and South Dakota; nor have any of the five territories: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Years Chair State Party
1908–1911 Augustus Willson Kentucky Republican
1911–1914 Francis McGovern Wisconsin Republican
1914–1915 David Walsh Massachusetts Democratic
1915–1916 William Spry Utah Republican
1916–1918 Arthur Capper Kansas Republican
1918–1919 Emerson Harrington Maryland Democratic
1919 Henry Allen Kansas Republican
1919–1922 William Sproul Pennsylvania Republican
1922–1924 Channing Cox Massachusetts Republican
1924–1925 Lee Trinkle Virginia Democratic
1925–1927 Owen Brewster Maine Republican
1927–1928 Adam McMullen Nebraska Republican
1928–1930 George Dern Utah Democratic
1930–1932 Norman Case Rhode Island Republican
1932–1933 John Pollard Virginia Democratic
1933–1934 Jim Rolph California Republican
1934–1936 Paul McNutt Indiana Democratic
1936–1937 George Peery Virginia Democratic
1937–1939 Robert Cochran Nebraska Democratic
1939–1940 Lloyd Stark Missouri Democratic
1940–1941 William Vanderbilt Rhode Island Republican
1941–1942 Harold Stassen Minnesota Republican
1942–1943 Herbert O'Conor Maryland Democratic
1943–1944 Leverett Saltonstall Massachusetts Republican
1944–1945 Herbert Maw Utah Democratic
1945–1946 Ed Martin Pennsylvania Republican
1946–1947 Millard Caldwell Florida Democratic
1947–1948 Horace Hildreth Maine Republican
1948–1949 Lester Hunt Wyoming Democratic
1949 William Lane Maryland Democratic
1949–1950 Frank Carlson Kansas Republican
1950–1951 Frank Lausche Ohio Democratic
1951–1952 Val Peterson Nebraska Republican
1952–1953 Allan Shivers Texas Democratic
1953–1954 Daniel Thornton Colorado Republican
1954–1955 Bob Kennon Louisiana Democratic
1955–1956 Arthur Langlie Washington Republican
1956–1957 Thomas Stanley Virginia Democratic
1957–1958 William Stratton Illinois Republican
1958–1959 LeRoy Collins Florida Democratic
1959–1960 Cale Boggs Delaware Republican
1960–1961 Stephen McNichols Colorado Democratic
1961–1962 Wesley Powell New Hampshire Republican
1962–1963 Albert Rosellini Washington Democratic
1963–1964 John Anderson Kansas Republican
1964–1965 Grant Sawyer Nevada Democratic
1965–1966 John Reed Maine Republican
1966–1967 William Guy North Dakota Democratic
1967–1968 John Volpe Massachusetts Republican
1968–1969 Buford Ellington Tennessee Democratic
1969–1970 John Love Colorado Republican
1970–1971 Warren Hearnes Missouri Democratic
1971–1972 Arch Moore West Virginia Republican
1972–1973 Marvin Mandel Maryland Democratic
1973–1974 Daniel Evans Washington Republican
1974–1975 Cal Rampton Utah Democratic
1975–1976 Robert Ray Iowa Republican
1976–1977 Cecil Andrus Idaho Democratic
1977 Reubin Askew Florida Democratic
1977–1978 William Milliken Michigan Republican
1978–1979 Julian Carroll Kentucky Democratic
1979–1980 Otis Bowen Indiana Republican
1980–1981 George Busbee Georgia Democratic
1981–1982 Richard Snelling Vermont Republican
1982–1983 Scott Matheson Utah Democratic
1983–1984 Jim Thompson Illinois Republican
1984–1985 John Carlin Kansas Democratic
1985–1986 Lamar Alexander Tennessee Republican
1986–1987 Bill Clinton Arkansas Democratic
1987–1988 John Sununu New Hampshire Republican
1988–1989 Gerald Baliles Virginia Democratic
1989–1990 Terry Branstad Iowa Republican
1990–1991 Booth Gardner Washington Democratic
1991–1992 John Ashcroft Missouri Republican
1992–1993 Roy Romer Colorado Democratic
1993–1994 Carroll Campbell South Carolina Republican
1994–1995 Howard Dean Vermont Democratic
1995–1996 Tommy Thompson Wisconsin Republican
1996–1997 Bob Miller Nevada Democratic
1997–1998 George Voinovich Ohio Republican
1998–1999 Tom Carper Delaware Democratic
1999–2000 Mike Leavitt Utah Republican
2000–2001 Parris Glendening Maryland Democratic
2001–2002 John Engler Michigan Republican
2002–2003 Paul Patton Kentucky Democratic
2003–2004 Dirk Kempthorne Idaho Republican
2004–2005 Mark Warner Virginia Democratic
2005–2006 Mike Huckabee Arkansas Republican
2006–2007 Janet Napolitano Arizona Democratic
2007–2008 Tim Pawlenty Minnesota Republican
2008–2009 Ed Rendell Pennsylvania Democratic
2009–2010 Jim Douglas Vermont Republican
2010 Joe Manchin West Virginia Democratic
2010–2011 Christine Gregoire Washington Democratic
2011–2012 Dave Heineman Nebraska Republican
2012–2013 Jack Markell Delaware Democratic
2013–2014 Mary Fallin Oklahoma Republican
2014–2015 John Hickenlooper Colorado Democratic
2015–2016 Gary Herbert Utah Republican
2016–2017 Terry McAuliffe Virginia Democratic
2017–2018 Brian Sandoval Nevada Republican
2018–2019 Steve Bullock Montana Democratic
2019–2020 Larry Hogan Maryland Republican
2020–2021 Andrew Cuomo New York Democratic
2021–2022 Asa Hutchinson Arkansas Republican
2022–2023 Phil Murphy New Jersey Democratic
2023–2024 Spencer Cox Utah Republican
2024–present Jared Polis Colorado Democratic
  • Cecil Andrus resigned as Governor of Idaho upon being confirmed as Secretary of the Interior in January 1977. Florida's Reubin Askew completed Andrus' unexpired term as chair.
  • Joe Manchin resigned as Governor of West Virginia when he was elected to the United States Senate in November 2010. Washington's Christine Gregoire completed Manchin's unexpired term as chair.

See also



  1. ^ "Gov. Cox is launching an initiative as he takes over National Governors Association". ABC4 Utah. July 15, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  2. ^ "Gov. Jared Polis elected vice chair of the National Governors Association". The Denver Post. July 14, 2023. Retrieved July 15, 2023.
  3. ^ Inland Waterways Commission Recommendations... Inquiries in Progress Letter to the President, October 5, 1907: ..."3. We are of opinion that the conference may best be held in the national capital next winter, and that the conferees should comprise the governors of all our States and Territories, a limited number of delegates to be appointed by each governor, and representatives from leading organizations of both State and national scope engaged in dealing with natural resources or with practical questions relating thereto... In his Memphis address on October 4 the President announced the intention of calling such a conference, and on November 13 he issued invitations to the governors of the States and Territories to meet at the White House May 13–15, 1908;..."
  4. ^ FAQ Archived December 14, 2013, at the Wayback Machine National Governors Association website, "How is NGA funded?" Retrieved December 8, 2013.
  5. ^ Janet Napolitano, Sourcewatch, June 7, 2019. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  6. ^ National Governors Association showing deep Republican, Democratic divisions, Washington Post, Dan Balz, February 25, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  7. ^ Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany (February 19, 2020). "How a Chinese think tank rates all 50 U.S. governors". Axios. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  8. ^ "U.S. designates Chinese body a foreign mission, quits local cooperation agreement". Reuters. October 28, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  9. ^ "Designation of the National Association for China's Peaceful Unification (NACPU) as a Foreign Mission of the PRC". United States Department of State. October 28, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  10. ^ "Historical Timeline". National Governors Association Centennial. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2008.