NGA Welcomes Council of Governors Appointments

Panel coordinates across states on homeland security, disaster response and the National Guard


The National Governors Association today welcomed the president’s new appointees to the Council of Governors, a body that coordinates across states on matters of national security, homeland security, disaster response and the National Guard.

“The Council has always been a critically important body, articulating governors’ positions and concerns on key issues such as the structure of the National Guard, coordination and unity of effort in cybersecurity and improving the response to and recovery from catastrophic disasters,” said Scott D. Pattison, CEO and executive director of the National Governors Association.

“NGA works closely with the Council to ensure governors’ priorities are heard and we look forward to this new class of Council members, the largest group since it was created in 2010.”

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson remains on the Council and has been named co-chair along with Hawaii Governor David Ige.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock will also continue his term on the Council and is joined by eight newly appointed governors to include Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

The Council was established by Section 1822 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 and implemented by Presidential Executive Order 13528. Consisting of 10 governors appointed by the President, the Council focuses on matters of national security, homeland defense, synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities in the United States, as well as matters of mutual interest pertaining to the National Guard.

In addition to the governors, federal participants include the secretaries of defense and homeland security, presidential homeland security and counterterrorism advisors, the commander of U.S. Northern Command, the commandant of the Coast Guard and the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Since the inception of the Council, it has:

• Established the appointment of Dual Status Commanders, clarifying who is in command of responding National Guard and federal military forces during domestic emergencies and that military forces are to operate in support of the governor and the state adjutant general;

• Approved a joint action plan for cybersecurity, establishing a framework to guide state-federal discussions in areas such as information sharing, operational coordination and incident response;

• Implemented a budget consultation agreement, ensuring governors can inform Department of Defense budget proposals affecting the National Guard;

• Opposed plans to cut the Army and Air National Guard, advocating for alternatives that would save costs while maintaining military capabilities;

• Preserved combat capabilities by securing the continued use of Apache helicopters by the National Guard;

• Supported the creation of commissions to study and make recommendations on the future of the Air and Army National Guard; and

• Established the State-Federal Catastrophic Disaster Working Group charged with identifying opportunities to improve the response to catastrophic incidents and develop recommendation related to processes, reimbursements, pay, benefits and protections for National Guard members and the use of Title 32, U.S. Code.

To ensure that the Council appropriately represents all governors, the Council works through NGA to share information and develop recommendations on behalf of all governors.