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Jim Douglas

Governors' Council Member; Former Governor of Vermont

Headshot of Jim Douglas

Jim Douglas is a member of BPC’s Governors’ Council and Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings. He served as governor of Vermont from 2003 to 2011.

As governor, Douglas focused on strengthening the state’s economy, making Vermont more affordable, and protecting Vermont’s natural environment. In 2003, Douglas launched the Blueprint for Health as the state’s vision for transforming Vermont’s health care system through a focus on chronic disease prevention and management resources.

Douglas signed a comprehensive package of health reforms in 2006 designed to expand access to coverage, improve the quality and performance of the health care system, and contain costs. The state’s uninsured population shrank from 9.8 percent in 2005 to 7.6 percent in 2008.

He served as the chair of the National Governors Association and the president of the Council of State Governments as well as the chairman of the New England Governors’ Conference and the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.

Elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1972, he became assistant majority leader in his second term and majority leader in his third term at the age of 25. Douglas retired from the state legislature in 1979 to become a top aide to then-Gov. Richard Snelling. In 1980, he was elected secretary of state, a post he held until 1993.

In 1994, Douglas was elected state treasurer, receiving the nomination of both parties and winning with 94 percent of the vote.

He served as Vermont’s treasurer until his inauguration as governor in 2003.