Elected in 2014, and re-elected in 2018, Governor Ducey has applied his experience from a successful career in business to bring much-needed change to Arizona government.
Upon taking office, the governor inherited a $1 billion budget deficit. He quickly took action and balanced the budget in his first year — without raising taxes. Today, the state budget is balanced with a one billion dollar surplus and a record one billion dollars in its Rainy Day Fund. Business is thriving and more people are moving to Arizona than almost anywhere in the country.
Committed to investing in public education, Governor Ducey led an historic and bipartisan effort to invest $3.5 billion into K-12 schools in his first year, injecting more dollars into Arizona’s classrooms. With a focus on teacher pay, the governor also successfully championed the passage of legislation to increase teacher pay 20 percent by 2020.
Governor Ducey has cut regulations and simplified taxes every year to stimulate job creation and economic growth. He remains committed to making Arizona a land of “Opportunity for All” and has pledged to work every day to make that vision a reality.
Governor Ducey was born in Toledo, Ohio. He moved to Arizona in 1982 to attend Arizona State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He and his wife, Angela, live in Paradise Valley with their three sons, Jack, Joe and Sam. He is Arizona’s 23rd governor.
Jim Kolbe currently serves as a senior transatlantic fellow at GMF. He advises on trade matters as well as issues of effectiveness of U.S. assistance to foreign countries, on U.S.–EU relationships, and on migration and its relationship to development. From 2008-10, he co-chaired the Transatlantic Taskforce on Development with Gunilla Carlsson, the Swedish minister for international development cooperation. The Taskforce consisted of experts from both sides of the Atlantic from governments, NGOs, foundations, and corporations and made strategic recommendations on development for the U.S. administration as well as to European audiences. From 2011-12, he co-chaired another task force with the Swedish minister for trade. This task force developed a strategic plan for launching U.S.–EU trade negotiations, which are now known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks.
In addition to his work with GMF, Kolbe serves on the board of counselors McLarty Associates and is president of JTKConsulting, which represents the interests of Arizona clients to the United States Congress.
Kolbe serves as vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Republican Institute, and is a member of the boards of directors for Freedom House, the Institute for Science and Global Policy, the Project on Middle East Democracy. In Arizona, he serves on the boards of directors for the Community Food Bank and Critical Path Institute. He is also co-chair of the Governor’s Transportation and Trade Task Force, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
For 22 years, Kolbe served in the U.S. House of Representatives, elected for 11 consecutive terms from 1985 to 2007. He represented the Eighth (previously designated the Fifth) congressional district, comprising the southeastern part of Arizona. Prior to coming to Congress, he served for six years in the Arizona State Senate.
While in Congress, Kolbe served for six years on the House Budget Committee and for 20 years on the Appropriations Committee. In that capacity he was responsible for deciding the allocation of the budget and the terms for spending appropriated funds. He was chairman of the Treasury, Post Office, and Related Agencies subcommittee for four years, and for his last six years in Congress, he chaired the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Agencies subcommittee.
Kolbe graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and from Stanford University with an MBA and concentration in economics.
Kolbe was commissioned in the United States Naval Reserves in 1965 and served for more than ten years before retiring as a Lieutenant Commander, USNR. His active duty included a year of service in the Republic of Vietnam with Coastal Forces (swift boats).
He has received numerous awards and tributes, but notable among them is the George Marshall Award for Distinguished Service from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Order of the Aztec from the president of Mexico, and the lifetime achievement in trade award from the Washington International Trade Association.