National Governors Association facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
National Governors Association
|Chair||Phil Murphy (D-NJ)|
|Vice Chair||Spencer Cox (R-UT)|
|Executive Committee||Asa Hutchinson (R-AR)
Jared Polis (D-CO)
Chris Sununu (R-NH)
Kathy Hochul (D-NY)
Roy Cooper (D-NC)
Doug Burgum (R-ND)
Kevin Stitt (R-OK)
|Headquarters||444 N Capitol St, Ste 267
Washington, D.C., U.S.
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 to the association from across the political spectrum; the NGA declares itself as nonpartisan.
The NGA serves as a 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.
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. 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.
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 usually of the opposite party to the chair, and generally assumes the role of NGA chair the following year. The current NGA chair is Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat who previously served as Vice Chair from 2021-2022. The current vice chair is Governor Spencer Cox of Utah, a Republican.
Arkansas' Bill Clinton is, to date, the only former chair of the organization to become president of the United States. Janet Napolitano of Arizona became the first female chair in 2006.
The Association's declaration of bipartisanship has been challenged in the Twenty-First Century after incidents including hyperpartisan statements made at the White House and on air in 2014 by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal during the Association convention .
In February 2020, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the National Governors Association that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was actively attempting to influence U.S. policy through state governors and local officials. 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.
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.
The following states have never produced an NGA chairperson: Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina 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.
- 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.
- Council of the Federation, a similar body in Canada
- National Cabinet (Australia), a similar body in Australia
- Joint Ministerial Committee (UK), a similar body in the United Kingdom
- National Governors Conference (Mexico), a similar organization in Mexico
- Conference of Ministers-President, a similar body in Germany
- United States Conference of Mayors
- Republican Governors Association
- Democratic Governors Association
- Governors Highway Safety Association