About NGA


Publication: 2012-12-01



Name:Owen Ambur


Name:National Governors Association


Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation's governors and one of Washington, D.C.'s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 55 states, territories and commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. NGA also provides management and technical assistance to both new and incumbent governors.


  • Governors

  • NGA Leaders

  • NGA Center for Best Practices

  • Dan CrippenExecutive Director -- Dan Crippen serves as the executive director of the National Governors Association (NGA). As executive director, he works with governors to identify and prioritize the most pressing issues facing states and oversees the day-to-day operations of the association. Founded in 1908, NGA is the only bipartisan organization of the nation's governors. NGA promotes visionary state leadership, shares best practices and speaks with a collective voice on national policy. Crippen brings a wealth of experience in state and federal budgets, health care and retirement issues. Prior to his work at NGA, Crippen served as the director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1999 to 2002, supporting the Congressional budget process and providing expert analysis to guide and inform economic decision making. Since CBO, Crippen has worked in the private and nonprofit sectors primarily on health care - including Medicaid, health IT, and health care for elderly and complex patients. In the early 1980s, during a time of great economic upheaval and uncertainty, Crippen served as the Chief Counsel and Economic Advisor for Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker. This position paved the way for his role as the Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy under the Reagan administration, from 1987 to 1989. Crippen is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Center for Health Care Strategies, a non-profit health policy center focusing on Medicaid; a member of the board of Father Martin's Ashley, a drug and alcohol rehab center; and a member of the CBO Economic Advisors. He has also served as senior advisor to the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission and as a member of the CEO Health Transformation Community, the NASA Aeronautics and Safety Advisory Panel and the Google Health Advisory Committee. Crippen completed his undergraduate work at The University of South Dakota and earned a Ph.D. and a master's degree in public finance from The Ohio State University.

  • Barry AndersonDeputy Director -- Anderson is the deputy director at the National Governors Association. He works alongside the executive director to further the vision of the nation's governors. His extensive expertise and experience in the budget process, both in the U.S. and nations abroad, greatly aids in communicating the governors' collective views, particularly within the federal budget.

  • Shelly IrbySenior Staff Associate

  • Bill GainerDirector, Office of Administration & Finance

  • Bob ThomasChief Information Officer

  • Jodi OmearDirector, Office of Communications -- Omear is responsible for developing and implementing the association's communications strategies. She oversees day-to-day communications with reporters and organizes news events throughout the country for governors on key NGA initiatives. Omear also coordinates media operations for NGA Annual and Winter Meetings.

  • Nikki GuilfordDirector, Office of Management Consulting & Training -- Guilford directs the NGA Office of Management Consulting and Training. She has more than 12 years of public service experience in the legislative and executive branches of state government, specializing in the management of the business area of state government including human resources, collective bargaining, procurement, construction, information technology and equal opportunity. Additionally, she served on two gubernatorial transitions and two large government reorganization projects. Currently, Guilford serves as management consultant to governors and their offices as NGA's primary liaison to governors' chiefs of staff. She assists governors with leading and managing state government; provides on-site consulting as well as printed and electronic information to assist governors and their staff; and organizes an annual series of seminars for governors' office staff on best practices and duties of their individual staff positions. The office also organizes the governors' spouses program. Guilford also coordinates and manages the NGA biennial Seminar for New Governors.

  • David QuamDirector, Office of Federal Relations -- Quam brings an extensive track record in developing policy solutions and effectively advocating positions before Congress and the Administration to the governors' collective policy priorities. Through his years of experience in Washington, Quam has gained expertise in areas including intellectual property rights, telecommunications, electronic commerce, international trade, federal budgeting and tax, the constitution, unfunded mandates, securities regulation, regulatory reform and ethics and lobbying reform. The Office of Federal Relations manages the association's legal and advocacy processes; and analyzes federal legislative, judicial and regulatory actions that impact states. As director, Quam oversees all of NGA's lobbying activity with primary responsibility over issues related to the budget and tax. He works closely with governors' Washington, D.C. representatives and NGA's standing committees to advance the association's legislative priorities and provides leadership in association management, including the development of association priorities.

  • David ParkhurstDirector, Economic Development & Commerce Committee -- Parkhurst serves as Director of the Economic Development and Commerce Committee where he directs and oversees NGA's activities on financial services, public finance, economic and community development, housing, transportation and infrastructure, and communications. Parkhurst also serves as co-counsel for NGA's legal affairs committee responsible for federalism and preemption matters.

  • Joan WodiskaDirector, Education & Workforce Committee -- Wodiska serves as Director of the Education & Workforce Committee where she directs and oversees NGA's legislative advocacy work on federal education, workforce, and labor legislation, including No Child Left Behind, special education, early education, higher education, career and technical education, school meals, Race to the Top, as well as competitiveness related legislation. Wodiska is a nationally recognized expert in education policy and federalism.

  • Heather HogsettDirector, Health and Homeland Security Committee -- Hogsett directs and oversees NGA's federal legislative agenda and activities for both the Health and Human Service Committee and the Special Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety. She handles issues dealing with health care, particularly as they relate to Medicaid, and federal-state safety net programs such as TANF, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance and other social services. She also focuses on issues pertaining to homeland security, public safety the National Guard and homeland defense, emergency management and veterans affairs.

  • Craig SundstromNatural Resources Committee, Senior Legislative Associate

  • David MooreDirector, NGA Center for Best Practices -- Moore brings extensive expertise to the NGA Center in numerous policy areas of relevance to governors. During his time at the Congressional Budget Office he managed the development and production of policy-relevant research in a number of topic areas including energy, environment, transportation, the economics of innovation, the federal government's influence on the pharmaceutical industry, the compensation of public employees and the private sector's role in enhancing homeland security. The NGA Center is the only policy research and development firm that directly serves the nation's governors by helping them and their policy advisors develop and implement innovative solutions to governance and policy challenges. This mission encompasses identifying and sharing information on states' best practices, providing customized technical assistance to governors, identifying and providing solutions to emerging state issues and developing evaluation strategies for existing state programs.

  • Mary Jo WaitsDivision, Economic, Human Services & Workforce Programs Division -- As director of the Economic, Human Services & Workforce (EHSW) Division, Waits oversees research, policy analysis, technical assistance, and resource development for the division. The EHSW Division works with states to identify, share and implement best practices on issues such as: preparing strategies to support innovation; fostering cluster-based economic development; facilitating innovative entrepreneurship; preparing comprehensive strategies to transition to a green economy; fostering a skilled workforce; reducing poverty and unemployment; ensuring the well-being of children and older adults; improving public safety; and combating identity theft. The EHSW Division's work includes the 2011 National Governors Association Chair's Initiative Growing State Economies, which provides governors and other state policymakers with options to assess the economic environment in their state and strategies designed to foster business growth. The division also prepares reports and provides technical assistance on policy options states can use to foster innovation-driven economic growth; link workforce and economic development strategies; align universities and community colleges with state economic development goals; reduce the number of children in foster care; and reduce poverty.

  • Richard LaineDirector, Education Division -- Laine directs research, policy analysis, technical assistance and resource development for the Education Division in the areas of early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education. The Education Division is working on a number of key policy issues relevant to governors' efforts to develop and support the implementation of policy, including: birth to 3rd grade access, readiness and quality; the Common Core State Standards, STEM and related assessments; teacher and leader effectiveness; turning around low-performing schools; high school redesign; competency-based learning; charter schools; and postsecondary (higher education & workforce training) access, success & affordability. The Division is also working on policy issues related to bridging the system divides between the early childhood, K-12 and postsecondary systems.

  • Sue GanderDirector, Environment, Energy & Transportation Division -- Gander directs research, policy analysis, technical assistance and resource development for the Environment, Energy & Transportation (EET) Division, which provides data and guidance on best practices affecting environmental protection, natural resource management, energy and transportation infrastructure. The EET Division is currently focused on helping states on several key policy issues including: energy and economic development, clean energy financing, strategic energy plans, transmission siting, planning and cost-allocation, deploying smart grid technologies, innovative transportation financing, integrating transportation and land use strategies, advancing alternative fuels and vehicles, cleanup and stewardship of nuclear weapons sites.

  • Krista DrobacDirector, Health Division -- Drobac directs state technical assistance, research, policy analysis and project development for all health issues in the NGA Center for Best Practices. The health division works with states to share and implement best practices on health care issues facing states including health insurance, Medicaid, health IT, and public health programs.

  • Thomas MacLellanDirector, Homeland Security & Public Safety Division -- Thomas oversees the NGA Center's work on justice and public safety policy issues. In this role he currently directs the NGA Prisoner Reentry Policy Academy, the National Cyber and Electronic Crime Strategic Policy Project, the Improving Forensic DNA Policy Project, and the Public Safety Performance Project. He is also the co-lead on the NGA State Leadership in Criminal Justice Information Technology Integration Project, a project designed to help improve how states share criminal justice information within their criminal justice systems. Thomas also provides targeted technical assistance to governors' criminal justice policy advisors on a range of criminal justice policy issues, including forensic DNA, sex offenders, methamphetamine production, prisoner reentry, and sentencing reform.