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President Barack Obama answers questions from the National Governors Association in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 22, 2010.

The National Governors Association (NGA), founded in 1908 as the National Governors' Conference,[1] is a primarily taxpayer-funded[2] lobbying organization of 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).

NGA serves as a key public policy liaison between the 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.

The NGA has adopted a policy in 1977 formalizing its standard practice for many years: 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 usually of the opposite party to the chair, and generally assumes the role of chair the following year. The current NGA chair is Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont, a Republican. The vice chair is Governor Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a Democrat.

Bill Clinton is, to date, the only former chair of the organization to become President of the United States.



Chairs preside for a one-year term and alternate party affiliation:[3]

Securing a Clean Energy Future

NGA has announced plans to expand statewide regulations on GHG emissions and clean energy initiatives. In a news conference on September 12, 2008 Governors Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas unveiled a task force they will lead along with six other governors to promote renewable energy, conservation, and a reduction in GHG emissions through statewide policies. The U.S. Department of Energy will provide $610,000 in support for this initiative.

As chairman of NGA, Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) said that on energy issues, "We have a federal government that doesn't seem to want to move as fast or as bold as many would like.” With states creating their own emission standards, Pawlenty said, there will be a push for the federal government to come up with a nationwide energy policy to address global warming. If enough states act to reduce GHG emissions, "it becomes a de facto national policy," he said.[4][5]

Equivalent organizations

Several other countries, including Japan and Canada, have similar organizations:

See also


  1. ^ Robert D. Behn, Governors on Governing, University Press of America, 1991 ISBN 0819178918, p. 185.
  2. ^ FAQNational Governor's Association website, "How is NGA funded?". Retrieved March 4, 2008.
  3. ^ "Historical Timeline". National Governors Association Centennial. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "National Governors Association". 2008-08-20. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 

External links



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