Governor James H. Douglas has been serving 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. Governor Douglas retired from the Legislature in 1979 to become a top aide to Governor Richard Snelling.
Governor Douglas was elected Secretary of State in 1980, a post he would hold for 12 years. He was then elected State Treasurer in 1994, where he served the people of Vermont for eight years. As Treasurer, he implemented programs that returned millions of dollars in assets to their rightful owners and under his leadership Vermont's bond rating came to be the best in New England and one of the best in the nation.
Governor Douglas successfully sought the office of Governor in 2002 and was inaugurated as the 80th Governor of Vermont on January 9, 2003. He was re-elected in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
During his tenure, Governor Douglas has focused on strengthening the state’s economy, reducing the cost of living in Vermont and protecting the state’s natural environment. He has advanced groundbreaking health reforms that have made Vermont a model among the states in health care. He has sought to strengthen the relationship between Vermont and Quebec and the other Canadian provinces.
Governor Douglas has been chosen for leadership positions by his colleagues, having served 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 is currently the chairman of the National Governors Association, after serving as vice-chairman of the organization from 2008 to 2009. In February 2010 President Obama appointed him co-chair of the Council of Governors.