From extreme polar weather to a 500-year flood and the pandemic, Michigan’s leader has built a reputation for helping communities through a crisis.

LANSING, Mich.—When the White House needs a perspective from the states, they have ten governors they rely on. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just became one of them.

President Joe Biden appointed Gov. Whitmer to represent both Michigan and the broader Midwest in discussions between the federal government and the states.  

Five governors of each political party form a Council of Governors that Presidents consult for things like disaster response, the national guard, and federal budget discussions. But only 1 in 5 governors can be on that council at any given time. So those on the Council work with the National Association of Governors to represent as many states as possible.

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Whitmer, in particular, brings expertise in disaster response to the Council. That’s a major priority for the Council right now, the White House explained in the press release announcing the round of governors appointed to the Council.

“I am honored that President Biden appointed me to the Council of Governors,” said Whitmer in a statement. “Since I took office in 2018, I have guided Michigan through multiple disaster response efforts, including extreme polar weather and energy shortages, a 500-year flood, and the COVID-19 pandemic. I welcome the opportunity to work across the aisle to put our nation’s security first and make a difference in the lives of Americans.”  

Whitmer will serve alongside Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, Gov. John Carney of Delaware, Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah, Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee, Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont, and Council co-chairs Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota and Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio. 

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All except Lee were appointed this year by President Biden, while Lee was appointed in 2020.  

The Council was established in 2010, and each member of the Council serves on it for two years, providing their unique expertise and experience to the discussions surrounding federal and state interactions before being rotated out with another governor.

The governors are joined on the Council by Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, the President’s Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor, the Commander of U.S. Northern Command and the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and others.

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