1. What is the National Governors Association?
The National Governors Association—the nonpartisan organization of the nation’s governors—promotes visionary state leadership, shares best practices and speaks with a collective voice on national policy. Its members are the governors of the 50 states and five territories.
2. How is NGA organized?
The NGA chair, vice chair and other members of the nine-person Executive Committee, who are elected annually, supervise the association’s operations on behalf of the entire membership. NGA maintains five standing committees – Economic Development and Commerce; Education, Early Childhood and Workforce; Health and Human Services; Homeland Security and Public Safety and Natural Resources – enabling governors to examine and develop policy and address key state and national issues. NGA also creates special ad hoc task forces of select governors to focus on high-priority issues for states, including a “Chair’s Initiative” task force organized each year to reflect the special focus of the chair.
3. What is the NGA Center for Best Practices?
The NGA Center for Best Practices helps governors and their key policy staff develop and implement innovative solutions to governance and policy challenges in their states. The NGA Center tracks, evaluates and disseminates information on state innovations and best practices in a variety of issue areas. The NGA Center helps governors and their policy staff learn about emerging issues, and it develops cutting-edge solutions to stay ahead of problems by providing on-site analysis, convening focus groups and bringing together experts from across the country.
4. When does the association meet?
The governors convene at NGA meetings twice a year. The Winter Meeting is held in Washington, D.C., usually in February. During this meeting, governors focus primarily on federal-state issues. NGA’s Summer Meeting is held in a different location each year, typically in July or August. NGA’s executive committee selects the site for the Summer Meeting based upon bids from governors interested in hosting the meeting.
5. Can the public attend NGA meetings?
Like most associations, NGA’s meetings are the business meetings of the organization. These are meetings for NGA members – not meetings for the general public. No outside groups or individuals participate in the meetings, unless they are invited speakers or panelists. Registered attendees for NGA meetings can observe business sessions, but they do not participate. C-SPAN often airs these business sessions. No attendees, including the media, are allowed to observe “Governors-only” sessions.
6. How are NGA and the NGA Center for Best Practices funded?
NGA has separate funding sources that provide revenues for NGA and the NGA Center for Best Practices (NGA Center). State dues fund the association’s advocacy and other activities. The NGA Center, a 501(c)(3) corporation, is an integral part of NGA and is the only policy research and development firm that directly serves the nation’s governors by developing innovative solutions to today’s most pressing public policy challenges. The NGA Center is funded through federal grants and contracts, fee-for-service programs, private and corporate foundation contributions, and the NGA Partners program.
7. What is NGA Partners?
NGA Partners — founded in 1988 as the NGA Corporate Fellows Program — promotes the exchange of information between the private sector and governors and stimulates discussion on emerging trends and factors affecting both business and government. Working through NGA’s nonprofit arm, the NGA Center for Best Practices, the program generates a spirit of partnership through meaningful dialogue between leaders of the public and private sectors.
8. How is the Summer Meeting funded?
Financial responsibilities for the NGA Summer Meeting are shared by NGA and the host state. Host state fundraising comes from a variety of sources, including businesses and corporations in the state who are supportive of the state’s host status responsibilities. Contributions may be monetary or an in-kind donation of goods and services within NGA guidelines.