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Center on the American Governor > On Governors > New Jersey Governors > Governor Thomas H. Kean Administration

Governor Thomas H. Kean Administration

Governor of New Jersey 1982-1990


Thomas H. Kean served as governor of the State of New Jersey from January 1982 to January 1990. A member of one of New Jersey’s most prominent families, he is descended from the State’s first governor — William Livingston — who served 13 years in office after his election in August 1776. During his two terms in office, Governor Kean promoted the State’s identity through “The New Jersey and You — Perfect Together” advertising campaign; initiated such educational programs as mandating minimum statewide teacher salaries, providing alternative routes to teacher certification and encouraging stronger ties between higher education and private sector technology resources; expanded support for the arts through increased program funding and development of new facilities such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; and extended protection of such critical environmental resources as inland waterways and freshwater wetlands.

After leaving office, Governor Kean served as the president of Drew University from 1990 until retiring in 2005. In December 2002, he was named by President George W. Bush as chair of the National Commission on Terrorism Attacks Upon the United States that investigated the government’s response to the 9/11 attacks. The Commission issued its comprehensive report in July 2004 recommending significant changes in the nation’s intelligence and preparedness programs.

In this section, we present information about Governor Kean’s administration, as well as source material from his years in office.