National Governors Association

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National Governors Association
Chairman Gary Herbert (Utah)
Vice Chairman Terry McAuliffe (Virginia)
Executive Committee John Hickenlooper, Dan Malloy, Terry Branstad, Mark Dayton, Brian Sandoval, Pat McCrory, Peter Shumlin
Founded 1908
Headquarters 444 N. Capitol St., Ste. 267
Washington, D.C.
Politics of United States
Political parties
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) is an organization consisting of the governors of the states, territories and commonwealths of the United States. The NGA's role is to act as a collective voice for governors on matters of national policy, as well as allowing governors to share best practices and coordinate inter-state initiatives. The organization was founded in 1908 as the National Governors' Conference.[1]


In 1907, the Conference of Governors was felt necessary by the Inland Waterways Commission to provide both state and national views relating to practical questions dealing with natural resources utilization and management in the Progressive Era.[2] 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.[3]

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.

NGA 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 Gary Herbert of Utah, a Republican. The vice chair is Governor Terry McAuliffe of 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, which means that the same party never serves for two terms in a row.[4]


  1. National Governors Association, [1].
  2. 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;..."
  3. FAQ National Governors Association website, "How is NGA funded?". Retrieved Dec 8, 2013.
  4. "Historical Timeline". National Governors Association Centennial. Retrieved 2008-10-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links