Skip to content

About Us

Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments is the nation’s largest nonpartisan organization serving all three branches of state elected and appointed officials. The mission of CSG is to champion excellence in state government and the organization executes that mission through four major platforms:

CSG National Office

The CSG national office, located in Lexington, Kentucky, houses national projects, publications and special initiatives that foster collaboration and community between elected and appointed officials from across the country and the six U.S. territories. The CSG national office is home to the CSG Center of Innovation, the CSG National Center for Interstate Compacts, Capitol Ideas magazine and the CSG Henry Toll Fellowship national leadership development program.

CSG Regional Offices

The regional offices — CSG East, CSG Midwest, CSG South and CSG West — allow state officials to connect on shared issues that are geographically based including federal lands, water rights, agriculture, border relations and more. CSG regional offices also host conferences, in-state visits and leadership development programs that allow officials to regionally network. Within these offices, CSG also houses the Eastern Regional Conference (ERC), Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC) and the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC).

CSG Justice Center

The CSG Justice Center brings together state and local officials and subject matter experts to discuss challenges and best practices in policy areas directly related to issues of public safety and justice in order to strengthen communities.

Affiliated Organizations

Through affiliation with CSG, 11 national organizations of state officials share ideas and combine efforts to accomplish mutual goals. Affiliated organizations contribute specialized expertise, information and resources to the overall mission of CSG.

  • American Probation and Parole Association
  • Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies
  • Cannabis Regulators Association
  • Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission
  • National Association of State Facilities Administrators
  • National Association of State Personnel Executives
  • National Association of State Technology Directors
  • National Emergency Management Association
  • National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators
  • State International Development Organizations
  • Women In Government

Learn more about our affiliated organizations here.

By The Numbers

Offices Across U.S.
Affiliated Organizations
+
Dedicated Employees
Strong Regions
0
Member States & Territories
0
Years of Service to the States

CSG 2021 Leadership

CSG National President

Gov. David Ige
Hawaii

CSG National Chair

Sen. Sam Hunt
Washington

CSG National
Chair-Elect

Rep. Julia Howard
North Carolina

CSG National
Vice-Chair

Deputy Speaker Kevin Ryan
Connecticut

CSG Immediate Past National President

Gov. Laura Kelly
Kansas

 

CSG Immediate Past National Chair

Sen. Joan Ballweg
Wisconsin

CSG Executive Director/CEO

David Adkins

History

1940s
In 1940, CSG launched its Suggested State Legislation program — today’s Shared State Legislation — and in 1945, the Midwestern Legislative Conference was established. In 1947, the Southern Conference and the Western Regional Conference were both established, which are both part of today’s CSG South/Southern Legislative Conference and CSG West.
1950s & 1960s
Brevard Crihfield was named executive director of CSG in 1958 and State Government News published its first issue. Alaska and Hawaii joined the Western Regional Conference in 1959. The National Conference of Lieutenant Governors, now known as National Lieutenant Governors Association) affiliated with CSG in 1966. In 1969, CSG moved its headquarters from Chicago to Lexington, Kentucky.
1970s
National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures both disaffiliate from CSG in 1975 to become their own stand-alone organizations. Herbert L Wiltsee is named executive director of CSG in 1977 and William J. Page Jr. is named executive director in 1978.
1980s
In 1980, Frank H. Bailey was named executive director and in 1983, Carl W. Stenberg took over as executive director of CSG. The CSG Associates Program was established in 1983 and the Toll Fellows Program started in 1986. The National Association of State Facilities Administrators and the American Probation and Parole Association each affiliated with CSG in 1987. In 1989, Daniel M. Sprague was named executive director of CSG.
1990s
The National Emergency Management Association affiliated with CSG in 1990 and CSG established its 21st Century Foundation in 1994. The MLC Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development began in the Midwest office in 1995 and the Eastern Trade Council was created in 1999.
Present
Today, The Council of State Governments national headquarters remains in Lexington, Kentucky, and David Adkins is its executive director/CEO. It has 11 affiliated organizations, four strong regions, a Justice Center, a Washington, D.C., office, and a Center of Innovation, which houses grant-funded projects. It remains the nation’s largest nonpartisan organization serving all three branches of state elected and appointed officials.

Mission

CSG is a nonpartisan community of the states, committed to connecting, informing, inspiring and empowering public servants in all three branches of state government to put the best ideas and solutions into practice.  

Vision:

CSG unites the states to advance the common good. 

Values

These are the 10 values that guide our work:

Democracy 

We believe state government is a force for good. We are committed to preserving, protecting and defending the constitutions of the states and nation. We work to build a more perfect union. We believe that interbranch and intergovernmental cooperation, collaboration and communication enhance policy development and government performance. We believe the states play a vital role in our nation’s dual sovereignty system of our democracy. We advocate for the interests of the states to all three branches of the federal government. We grow civic literacy, access to democracy and citizen participation in government. 

Integrity 

We act ethically in all that we say and do. We are trustworthy and transparent. We are good stewards of resources. We honor our commitments. We hold ourselves accountable. 

Fairness 

We place equity at the center of our work. We are inclusive and welcoming. We value diversity because we know diversity makes our work better and our organization stronger. We value fairness in all that we do. 

Civility 

We practice civility and engage in respectful discourse. We seek to understand and learn from those with whom we disagree. We are pragmatic consensus builders. We are tolerant of differences and mindful of all that we share in common with others. 

Excellence 

We aspire to achieve the highest levels of excellence in all that we do. We learn from failures and are committed to continuous improvement. 

Truth 

We value knowledge. We are honest. We believe facts matter and that a shared understanding of facts is essential when developing good public policy. We believe the proper use of data can help us understand and solve problems. 

Innovation 

We create new knowledge and identify promising approaches to solve problems. We use technology wisely. We engage in continuous learning. We evolve to meet emerging needs. We aren’t afraid of change. We accept failure and disruption as a component of innovation. CSG will always be agile and adaptable, ready to respond to the priorities of state officials. 

Collaboration 

We work well with others. We share information and expertise freely. We forge productive partnerships to improve our impact. We initiate and facilitate productive interbranch and intergovernmental dialogue, collaboration and cooperation. We acknowledge the contributions of others in our work. We are grateful for our partners who help fund and support our work. 

Unity 

We bring public servants together to learn from each other and to advance common goals. We are trusted convenors and skilled facilitators of diverse audiences. We value the history of CSG and its commitment to create harmony among the states. We build bridges and foster consensus. Together, we accomplish more. 

Impact 

We want to make a difference. We believe any state official can be more effective by being an active member of the CSG informed community of diverse peers. We build trust in state government when we help state officials solve problems to improve the lives of the people they serve. 

Articles of Organization

The Council of State Governments, the multi-branch organization of the states and U.S. territories, champions excellence in state government, bringing state leaders from across the nation and through its regions together to put the best ideas and solutions into practice. To this end, CSG: maintains four regions; builds leadership skills to improve decision-making; advocates multistate problem-solving and partnerships; fosters collaboration and understanding among and between the branches of government; interprets changing national and international conditions to better prepare states for the future; advances the exchange of ideas and information among state governments and their subnational counterparts in other countries; and promotes the sovereignty of the states and advocates their interests in the American federal system.