WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced a new office that will focus on the relationship between states and the international community called NGA Global.

“I am excited to elevate governors’ presence on the international stage through NGA Global,” said NGA CEO Scott Pattison. “Some have called them the new ambassadors. As executives of their respective states, governors hold a unique view on how subnational leaders can have a say in matters of international importance.”

Now more than ever, governors are devoted to fostering economic development through international partnerships and the attraction of foreign direct investment. NGA Global will create opportunities for governors to convene and collaborate with their counterparts across the globe, including heads of state, thought leaders and business executives.

NGA Global will be led by the association’s chief strategic officer, Tiffany Shackelford, who currently oversees communications and fundraising activities.

“I am excited to lead NGA’s international efforts through the relaunch of this office,” said Shackelford. “The subnational community is more important than ever, and our work at NGA Global goes beyond trade missions to help governors learn best practices from other nations.”

In March 2017, NGA hosted an international “study tour” with a group of governors, where they learned how Germany and Switzerland effectively leverage apprenticeships to advance workforce and economic development. Work like that will continue through NGA Global.

There will also be a strong international presence at the upcoming NGA Winter Meeting, Feb. 23-26. At the meeting, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will deliver the opening keynote address. Turnbull has said he looks forward to “further deepening and broadening the relationship between Australian and American states.”

In addition, Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo will be the first African leader to address the governors at an NGA meeting.

"I am honored to be the first African President to be invited to address the National Governors Association, " said President Akufo-Addo. Ghana, as the fastest-growing economy in Africa, looks forward to working with NGA Global to identify investment opportunities and build stronger ties to American states, who are leading the way in a variety of sectors, from agriculture and petroleum to finance and technology.”

In May, governors will gather in Scottsdale, Arizona, for a summit that will bring together leaders from Canada and Mexico. There subnational leaders will collaborate on a number of issues, from trade and investment to the opioid epidemic and infrastructure.

"I look forward to meeting with my North American colleagues in May,” said NGA Chair Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval. “Governors and premiers are devoted to overcoming shared policy challenges and ensuring our regional economy remains globally competitive.”