Chris Gregoire became Washington’s 22nd governor in 2005.
As governor, Gregoire led her state through several billion dollars in reductions and a transformative agenda to build a 21st government. She focused on education, modernizing pension and health care costs and streamlining government services and delivery.
Prior to serving as governor, Gregoire served three terms as attorney general—the first woman to be elected to the position in Washington. She led a statewide program that resulted in a comprehensive reform of the state’s juvenile system, fought to pass tougher ethics laws for state government, sought alternatives to litigation for legal disputes and to protect privacy and combat identity theft. Gregoire was the lead negotiator in the groundbreaking settlement of state lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Gregoire was appointed in 1988 to serve as director of the Washington Department of Ecology, where she negotiated the safe cleanup and permanent storage of radioactive wastes at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Gregoire was raised in Auburn, Washington. After graduating from Auburn High School, she attended the University of Washington where she graduated with a teaching certificate and a bachelor of arts degree in speech and sociology. She received her law degree in 1977 from Gonzaga University and an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Gonzaga in 1995.