Today, President Biden announced his intent to appoint Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey, Idaho Governor Brad Little, and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster to the Council of Governors for two-year terms. Five current members will be reappointed for another term, including Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, Delaware Governor John Carney, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will continue serving as co-chair and Vermont Governor Phil Scott has been nominated to serve as the second co-chair for this session. The Council of Governors is comprised of 10 bipartisan Governors from across the country and serves as the lead forum to increase coordination around preparedness, resilience, and response between the Federal government and state governments, and strengthen the Federal-State partnership that’s critical to protecting our nation from threats to our homeland security. The Council of Governors serves as the lead forum for communication and collaboration between the States and the Federal government on homeland defense, civil support, synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States, and matters of mutual interest pertaining to the National Guard.
The Council includes leaders across the Federal government: the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Hemispheric Affairs, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, and the Commander of U.S. Northern Command. Other key Federal officials such as the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are regular participants.
Governors Healey, Little, and McMaster will replace Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards who completed their terms on the Council of Governors. The President thanks Governors Cox, DeWine, and Bel Edwards for their tenure on the Council.
Governors Healey, Little, and McMaster will join five members of the Council of Governors who were appointed by the President in July 2021, and two that were appointed by the President in February 2023.
Members of the Council of Governors:
Vermont Governor Phil Scott, Co-Chair
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Co-Chair
Delaware Governor John Carney
Idaho Governor Brad Little
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb
Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
Governor Maura Healey
Maura Healey currently serves as the 73rd Governor of the State of Massachusetts. She is the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ person elected to serve in the role. Under Healey’s leadership, Massachusetts is becoming more affordable and competitive economically through her prioritization of housing, transportation, job training and child care. Healey is harnessing Massachusetts’ resources to deliver for residents, families, and businesses throughout the entire state.
She is a graduate of Harvard College and Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. Prior to her election as Governor in 2022, Healey served as Massachusetts Attorney General where she launched the Community Engagement Division. The division assisted with the rollout of the Earned Sick Time law and the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights.
Governor Brad Little
Brad Little currently serves as the 33rd Governor of the State of Idaho. The people of Idaho elected Brad Little to be their Governor in November of 2018 and reelected him in November of 2022. Under Little’s leadership, Idaho has experienced historic investments in education and infrastructure and unprecedented tax relief. Idaho received the title “least regulated state” during his first term. He seeks to ensure the lightest possible hand of government in the lives of Idaho’s citizens, and he seeks to build the public’s confidence in state government.
He is an Emmett native who was raised on his family’s sheep and cattle ranching operation. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho. Prior to his election as Governor, he served four full terms in the Idaho Senate and as the Lieutenant Governor for 10 years.
Governor Henry McMaster
Henry McMaster currently serves as the 117th Governor of the State of South Carolina. He was sworn in following then-Governor Nikki Haley’s appointment as United States Ambassador to the United Nations, and was elected to a full term as governor in November 2018 and re-elected in November 2022. Under McMaster’s leadership, South Carolina’s economy is strong and vibrant. The state has made transformative investments in the classroom by expanding full day four-year-old kindergarten, raising K-12 teacher pay, and placing a school resource officer in every school. Colleges and universities are becoming more accessible and affordable due to the governor’s tuition freeze and by his doubling of funding for needs-based financial aid for in-state students. McMaster is the recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor awarded to citizens of South Carolina for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national and statewide significance.
He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. Prior to being elected Governor, he served as South Carolina Attorney General and as Lieutenant Governor.
About the Council of Governors:
The Council of Governors was authorized in 2008 by the National Defense Authorization Act and formally established by then-President Obama’s Executive Order 13528 issued on January 11, 2010. The Council focuses on matters of homeland security; homeland defense; civil support; synchronization and integration of state and Federal military activities in the United States; and other matters of mutual interest, including those involving the National Guard. Federal-State cooperation is critical to protecting communities given the evolving challenges and threats facing our country, which range from extreme weather to domestic and international terrorism to a global pandemic.