Missouri, Alaska, Tennessee Policymakers Lead
The Council of State Governments in 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky—Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is the 2013 president of The Council of State Governments, a nonpartisan organization that serves policymakers in all three branches of government in the 50 states and territories. Alaska Sen. Gary Stevens is the 2013 chair and Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris is the chair-elect.
Nixon, who served six years as a state senator and 16 as attorney general, is in his second term as Missouri’s governor.
“I’ve been at this a long time,” Nixon said. “I just very much value how good ideas can come to the fore in organizations like CSG.”
He called the organization “a good environment where folks can work together to improve both the services and accountability of government while at the same time moving forward, as opposed to what often seems like gridlock in Washington. In the states, there’s a lot of folks getting a lot done.”
Garnering the highest margin of victory for a non-incumbent governor in 44 years, Nixon was overwhelmingly elected by Missourians as their 55th governor on Nov. 4, 2008, to lead the state in a new direction. Gov. Nixon was elected to a second term on Nov. 6, 2012.
Nixon has put forward an agenda to make government more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of Missouri families. He is committed to attracting the jobs of the future to Missouri, making health care more affordable and placing a college education within reach for middle-class students.
“Gov. Nixon has demonstrated as governor the attributes we seek to emulate at CSG,” said CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins.“He has been a hands-on leader, not afraid to challenge the status quo and look for innovative solutions to entrenched problems.”
Stevens is also a member of the CSG West Executive Committee and the National Conference of State Legislatures Executive Committee. The retired history professor previously served as mayor of the city of Kodiak, Alaska, and has served on the Alaska Conference of Mayors and the Alaska Municipal league. He also served on the Host State Committee for CSG’s 2003 national conference in Alaska.
Stevens lauded the organization for bringing state policymakers together to explore important issues.
“Unlike Congress, state legislatures have a tendency to find ways to work together across party lines,” Stevens said. “The public wants us to work together, play well and get things done. People are tired of the partisan bickering in Congress. This certainly does not mean we consider compromising our values as Republicans, Democrats or other affiliations, but that we find ways to collaborate and move our states forward.”
He said the leadership programs offered by each of CSG’s four regions, as well as the national CSG Toll Fellows program, “provide opportunities for new legislators to learn the business of state government, to figure out their responsibilities and opportunities, and to become more effective legislators.”
Adkins said as a long-time public servant, Stevens will be an asset to CSG.
“His understanding of history and his interest in helping solve problems makes him an effective leader in his state,” Adkins said.“His willingness to work across party lines and create lasting solutions to difficult problems makes him well positioned to serve as a the national chair of CSG. He is a trusted and respected voice on issues affecting the states and I know his considerable skills will serve CSG and the nation well during his tenure as one of our officers.”
The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.