Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has been selected to lead the Council of State Governments (CSG). For the first time in history, a former chair will serve as the organization's president. Gov. Tomblin served as CSG chair in 2006 as West Virginia Senate President and served as chair of The Council of State Governments Southern Legislative Conference in 1998.
"I am honored to be the first past chair to serve as president of The Council of State Governments," Gov. Tomblin said. "It is a privilege to be a part of the leadership team for an organization that provides an invaluable opportunity for officials across the country to sit down and share new ideas and best practices to move our states forward."
CSG Executive Director/CEO David Adkins said Tomblin was an effective advocate for the states during his legislative service when he served as chair of CSG's Southern Legislative Conference and then as CSG's national chair.
"He brings incredible expertise and passion to his public service and I am confident he will make a difference for our nation during his tenure as our national president," Adkins said.
This year, Gov. Tomblin and CSG Chair Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris have selected workforce development as the CSG Leaders' Initiative for 2014.
"Nationwide there is a shortage of workers with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math," Tomblin said. "As we take steps to reinvigorate our nation's manufacturing industry, we must develop a seamless education system to help those pursuing a technical career to receive the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. It is imperative we work collaboratively with business partners to ensure our nation's workforce is prepared with the education and experience needed for today's high-skilled technical jobs."
Colleen Cousineau, director of CSG's Southern Legislative Conference, worked with both Tomblin and Norris when they chaired the SLC.
"Having the opportunity to work with both Governor Tomblin and Senator Norris as officers of the Southern Legislative Conference, I can attest--firsthand--to their strong commitment to the organization," she said. "As officers at the national level, The Council of State Governments will benefit from their strong hands-on leadership styles, and keen understanding about the mission of CSG."
Tomblin and Norris will be joined on the CSG leadership team by New York Sen. Carl Marcellino as chair-elect and Nebraska Sen. Beau McCoy as vice chair. Alaska Sen. Gary Stevens is the immediate past chair.
The Council of State Governments is the nation's only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.