Utah Governor Spencer Cox Elected Vice Chair
Portland, Maine – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was elected chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) as the bipartisan association works alongside Governors to collaborate on economic recovery, infrastructure investment, health care, education, cybersecurity, workforce development and other pressing priorities.
Utah Governor Spencer Cox was elected the NGA vice chair, with a role overseeing the NGA Center for Best Practices, the only research and development office directly serving the nation’s Governors. The Governors assumed their new roles during the NGA Summer Meeting in Portland, Maine, and will serve for one year.
“At a time when Americans across the country are eager for bipartisan cooperation, I believe that the NGA has a unique opportunity to achieve progress on critical priorities like public health and economic recovery,” said Governor Murphy. “As NGA Chair, I’m committed to collaborating with the nation’s Governors on bipartisan solutions.”
“I’m honored to serve as NGA vice chair, and I look forward to working closely with governors from every state and territory,” said Governor Cox. “States are where the most creative problem solving happens, and I’m eager to help our federal partners learn from governors and states to find common sense solutions for the nation’s biggest challenges.”
In addition to Governors Murphy and Cox, the following Governors were elected to positions on the NGA Executive Committee, which guides NGA’s operations and priorities:
• Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas (immediate past chair)
• Governor Jared Polis, Colorado
• Governor Chris Sununu, New Hampshire
• Governor Kathy Hochul, New York
• Governor Roy Cooper, North Carolina
• Governor Doug Burgum, North Dakota
• Governor Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma
Governor Murphy announced his Chair’s Initiative, Strengthening Youth Mental Health, at the closing session of the Summer Meeting. The initiative will bring together policy experts, public officials, and private sector leaders to take a holistic approach to the youth mental health crisis.
First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy also introduced her initiative to create a national model to help address the maternal and infant health crisis in the United States.
To start the conversation, mental health expert Heidi Baskfield of Children’s Hospital Colorado led a panel discussion with Governor Murphy and Amy Kennedy (Education Director, The Kennedy Forum) on the Governor’s Youth Mental Health initiative. She then spoke with First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy and Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet (AVP for Health Equity, Merck; Lead, Merck for Mothers) about the First Lady’s NGA Spouses’ Program Chair Initiative to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.
“Rates of mental health issues among young people were steadily increasing for the 10 years prior to COVID, and the pandemic only added fuel to the fire,” said Governor Murphy. “My Chair’s Initiative will focus on holistically addressing young people’s social, emotional, and mental health needs. Working together, we will identify innovative, evidence-based strategies that states can tailor for their unique challenges.”
In additional Summer Meeting plenary sessions, Governors discussed K-12 computer science education, recovery of travel and tourism industries, and early childhood literacy.