Ignite Burlington 2015 | Speaker Spotlight – Governor Jim Douglas


Ignite Speakers - Jim Douglas (2)

Presentation:  Can Vermont be Saved?

Governor Douglas served the people of Vermont for more than 35 years.  He was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives after graduating from Middlebury College in 1972. He became Assistant Majority Leader in his second term and Majority Leader in his third term at the age of 25. He was Executive Assistant to Governor Richard Snelling in 1979 and 1980.

The former Governor was elected Secretary of State in 1980, a post he would hold for 12 years.  He was elected State Treasurer in 1994, where he served the people of Vermont for eight years. Under his leadership Vermont’s bond rating came to be the best in New England and one of the highest in the nation.

Douglas successfully sought the office of Governor in 2002 and was re-elected in 2004, 2006 and 2008.  During his tenure, he focused on strengthening the state’s economy, reducing the cost of living in Vermont and protecting the state’s natural environment.  He advanced groundbreaking health reforms that have made Vermont a model among the states in health care.  He worked to strengthen the relationship between Vermont and Quebec and the other Canadian provinces.

While serving as Governor, Douglas was chosen for leadership positions by his colleagues, serving as the president of the Council of State Governments, chairman (twice) of the New England Governors’ Conference and chairman of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.  He also served as the chairman of the National Governors Association. In February 2010 President Obama appointed him co-chair of the Council of Governors.

Governor Douglas is now an Executive in Residence at Middlebury College.  He serves on the boards of several local companies and on the Governors Advisory Council of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. He continues as Town Moderator for Middlebury, a post he has held for a quarter-century. The former governor and his wife, Dorothy, have two sons and two grandsons.

Email: jdouglas@middlebury.edu

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