Governors Engage with Federal Officials

The NGA Winter Meeting offers an opportunity for Governors to meet with Federal Partners and share the real-world impact of federal policies.

States are famously “the laboratories of democracy,” and every convening of Governors is valuable as they share unique state approaches to ubiquitous challenges. With its location in Washington, D.C., however, the Winter Meeting offers an additional benefit as attending Governors use the opportunity to engage with officials across the federal government.

Many Governors headed to Capitol Hill, with Colorado Governor Polis testifying before Congressional Education and the Workforce Committee on the state of education in America, and Governors Albert Bryan, Lourdes Leon Guerrero, Lemanu P.S. Mauga, Arnold Palacios and Pedro Pierluisi provided testimony to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on the State of the U.S. Territories. In addition to official testimony other Governors, Washington Governor Inslee and Indiana Governor Holcomb as just two examples, used the opportunity to visit with Congressional delegations from their state.

Engagement with federal officials was also a large part of the agenda for the Winter Meeting, with Governors meeting Friday morning with President Biden, Vice President Harris, Cabinet members and senior White House advisers to discuss economic issues, infrastructure investment and other bipartisan priorities. In a wide-ranging discussion, Governors called on Congress and the Administration to work together to ensure a bipartisan solution to address the U.S. statutory debt ceiling and to consider serious long-term reforms that will reduce the national debt and put the country on more sustainable fiscal footing. While Governors were at the White House their staff had the opportunity to meet with over 40 federal officials from 16 agencies and offices.

Several federal officials are on the public meeting program as well, with U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy on a panel discussing strengthening youth mental health—New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s NGA Chair’s Initiative. Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development and Maria Robinson, Director, Grid Deployment Office, U.S. Department of Energy are joining the Economic Development and Revitalization Task Force to discuss Technology and Energy Innovation. While the Public Health And Disaster Response Task Force will host FERC Commissioner Allison Clements and Puesh Kumar from the U.S. Department of Energy for a discussion on how Governors can respond to energy disruptions.

Readouts from the above sessions, and other material from the Winter Meeting will live on this page when available.

This article was developed by Tiffany Waddell, Director of NGA Government Relations. For more information on Governors’ policy efforts please contact