Biographical / Historical
Governor James H. Douglas, born June 21, 1951, served the people of Vermont for more than 35 years. He was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives after graduating from Middlebury College 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 Legislature in 1979 to become a top aide to Governor Richard Snelling.
Douglas was elected Secretary of State in 1980, a post he would hold for 12 years. He was then elected State Treasurer in 1994, where he served the people of Vermont for eight years. As Treasurer, he implemented programs that returned millions of dollars in assets to their rightful owners and under his leadership Vermont's bond rating came to be the best in New England and one of the best in the nation.
Governor Douglas successfully sought the office of Governor in 2002 and was inaugurated as the 80th Governor of Vermont on January 9, 2003. He was re-elected in 2004, 2006 and 2008.
While serving as Governor, Douglas was chosen for leadership positions by his colleagues, serving as the president of the Council of State Governments, chairman (twice) of the New England Governors' Conference and chairman of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors. He is also a past chairman of the National Governors Association. In February 2010 President Obama appointed him co-chair of the Council of Governors.
Outside of government, Douglas has been active in many community organizations. He is a past president of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce and Porter Medical Center. He served as treasurer of the State 4-H Foundation and president of the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ. He has served on the boards of the Mary Johnson Day Care Center, the Counseling Service of Addison County, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and the United Ways of both Addison County and Vermont. And he continues to serve as Town Moderator for Middlebury, a post he has held for more than twenty years.
After his retirement from state government in 2011, Douglas became an Executive-In-Residence at Middlebury College, where he teaches a January-Term course on Vermont government and politics. He remains active in public policy issues, and currently serves on the Governors' Council of the Bipartisan Policy Center.