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Meet The Council of State Governments

Welcome to The Council of State Governments and our very best wishes to you as you take on this important role in public service. Here at CSG, we know the monumental tasks that you’ll face and how important the impact of your work will be. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. At CSG, we work for you; our priorities are determined by state officials, and we hope you come to think of CSG as part of your team.

 The Council of State Governments is America’s largest organization of state officials and the nation’s only nonpartisan, nonprofit organization serving all three branches of state government. Founded in 1933, CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy.

A few things to remember about CSG:

  • The mission of CSG is to convene policymakers of varying political ideologies, of different branches of government and from every region of the nation.
  • Our nonpartisan mission has been a defining characteristic of our work for more than 80 years, and we are careful to ensure that this well-known attribute endures.
  • We think regionally —we know some issues impact certain states more than others — but we apply things nationally. CSG facilitates states helping other states.
  • CSG has regional offices in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago and Sacramento, California. We also have a federal office in Washington, D.C., and the CSG Justice Center is headquartered in New York City.

“The Council of State Governments was created by the states as a trusted forum to foster productive relationships, to grow the competence of state officials and to enhance the performance of state governments. An early motto for CSG echoed the purpose upon which our nation itself was founded: ‘Toward a more perfect Union.’”

 — David Adkins, CSG executive director/CEO

Stronger Together: An Overview of CSG


We work for the states.

Established in 1933 by a group of state leaders, CSG is of, by and for the states. The states themselves are our members, and our work is guided by a governing board composed of a broad cross-section of state leaders. We are not an advocacy organization — state leaders determine our priorities and provide leadership and oversight. While we have many partners and stakeholders, we are governed exclusively by member states, and our budget is built on dues set and paid by the states. Simply put, CSG is an extension of state government with one goal: to anticipate and serve the needs of state officials.


We are a community of state leaders.

CSG is an inclusive family of state leaders, embracing diversity of perspectives and identities and treating everyone with equity, dignity and respect. In our programming, we create and maintain a space for constructive and civil dialogue and debate. In-person and virtual convenings, both regional and national, are the most important way we ring leaders together. Four regional conferences (East, Midwest, South and West), an annual national conference, policy academies and more give leaders a chance to share ideas, hear from policy experts, learn more about issues facing their states and engage with other leaders from all over the U.S.


We are nonpartisan.

CSG is an association of all state officials, elected and appointed, across all three branches of state government. While some CSG programs help state officials gain greater understanding of political trends and events, the organization’s public policy work is data-driven, consensus-based and conspicuously nonpartisan. Our convenings welcome state officials regardless of political party, geography or ideology, and our work encourages the inclusion of all voices and a diversity of opinions. The organization’s data-driven approach to public policy provides a common, agreed-upon set of facts, which help guide policy discussions and drive consensus-based solutions.


Our values shape our work.

The vision of CSG is to unite states to advance the common good. In that work, we are guided by 10 core values: democracy, integrity, fairness, civility, excellence, truth, innovation, collaboration, unity and impact. More than just slogans, these are animating ideals that shape how we approach our work.


We are here for you.

CSG helps state officials solve problems, grow as leaders, share information and build relationships with other policymakers across the U.S. We offer multiple leadership development opportunities, including the prestigious Henry Toll Fellowship; technical assistance and policy resources through the CSG Center of Innovation; research and collaborative projects on justice system issues through the CSG Justice Center; a range of policy academies that provide customized training and a deeper dive on critical policy topics; CSG University, which helps newly elected legislators find success in their new roles; and much more.


We Work for You!

Throughout the year, CSG policy expertise, leadership development offerings and skills-based trainings are available to you as well as members and staff in your chamber. We invite you to utilize these exemplary programs and services.


Henry Toll Fellowship

The CSG Henry Toll Fellowship convenes 48 top officials from all three branches of state government for a leadership boot camp designed to stimulate personal growth while providing networking and relationship building opportunities.

CSG 20 Under 40 Leadership Award

The CSG 20 Under 40 Leadership Award recognizes the outstanding work of 20 up-and-coming elected and appointed officials from across the country who not only exemplify strong leadership skills but have also demonstrated a true commitment to serving the citizens of their state/territory.


Policy Academies

CSG Policy Academies provide state officials with professional development through policy analysis. Policy Academies allow CSG to identify emerging areas of public policy as novel issues arise in the states. These programs provide customized training and a deeper dig on critical policy topics facing the states. Past Policy Academy focuses include Medicaid, privacy, cannabis, autonomous vehicles, sports betting, and natural gas. Policy Academies can be customized and tailored for a state-specific audience. Does your Appropriations Committee need a crash course in Medicaid 101? We can help with that.

CSG National Conference

Each year, The Council of State Governments convenes state leaders from all three branches of government, subject matter experts and private sector partners from across the U.S. to share ideas and explore solutions to the complex policy issues facing the states. Members from across state government engage in sessions that recently have covered topics including electric vehicle infrastructure, learning loss and gaps, equitable governance, health disparities, Medicaid, state procurement issues, agriculture policy, workforce development and much more. National task forces including the CSG Healthy States National Task Force as well as the Shared State Legislation Committee also meet during this event.


The Center of Innovation

The CSG Center of Innovation is a policy resource center for the states. COI empowers state government leaders by providing evidence-based, nonpartisan assessments of existing legislative and regulatory efforts and by identifying best practices and future opportunities to address policy challenges. The Center of Innovation’s current portfolio of initiatives and public policy priorities include fiscal resiliency and recovery, elections, workforce development, disability employment policy, and health and human services.


COI specializes in customized, rapid research for state officials, It conducts customized research on a wide range of policy topics in response to member requests, and it proactively develops resources for state policymakers on the most pressing policy topics including digestible analyses on the American Rescue Plan and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The Center of Innovation has over 40 policy experts and researchers committed to serving state officials in order to advance the common good.

The Justice Center

The CSG Justice Center works to develop research-driven strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities. It is committed to being independent and nonpartisan, to providing rigorous, trusted, high-quality analysis, to developing practical and innovative solutions informed by data and research, to promoting collaboration and building consensus, and to being inclusive and respectful of diverse views and experiences. The Justice Center has worked in every state to further bipartisan, data-driven efforts to increase public safety and strengthen communities. The Justice Center is comprised of 100 researchers, practitioners, policy experts, writers and collaborators who work daily toward a mission to advance safety and second chances.

National Center for Interstate Compacts

The National Center for Interstate Compacts is a recognized leader for working with states to reduce occupational licensure barriers and enhance portability. NCIC builds on the long history CSG has of promoting multi-state problem solving and supporting states in determining their respective futures. The center serves as an information clearing house, a provider of training and technical assistance and a primary facilitator in assisting states with the revision and creation of new interstate compacts.

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