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About the Center on the American Governor

The Center on the American Governor, an initiative of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, seeks to promote research and discussion on the varied roles, powers and legacies of governors in the United States in order to inform present and future state executive leadership and enhance historical knowledge and perspective. The Center is building an extensive virtual archive and sponsoring a range of academic activities and public forums on topics and issues relating to the office of the governor across the country, as well as the administrations of selected governors in New Jersey and other states.

The Center’s first focus has been to create an oral and written record of the administrations of New Jersey’s living former governors. The Center website (governors.rutgers.edu) includes archives nearly completed for the administrations of Brendan T. Byrne (1974-1982) and Thomas H. Kean (1982-1990) and well underway to similarly chronicle the terms of James J. Florio (1990-1994) and Christine Todd Whitman (1994-2001).

These archives include videotaped interviews with the governors, their cabinet officials, legislators, and others who worked with them. Also available are biographical materials, photographs, memoranda, speeches, and documents highlighting campaign moments, policy debates and decisions for each governor, as well as consideration of lessons they offer for current policy formation and governance.

The website also provides access to a wide range of resources relating to the office of the governor, including research and scholarly publications on constitutional, political, and policy issues; news on the actions of current governors and other developments affecting them; an overview of the evolution of the historical role of governors; and links to other academic, political and media resources.

For more information or questions, contact John Weingart at john.weingart@rutgers.edu or (848) 932-9384 or Kristoffer Shields at kshields@eagleton.rutgers.edu or (848) 932-8467.