Gubernatorial Advice on Dealing with Crises


Disasters and crises are almost always unexpected, yet the more governors can be prepared for them, the better off their state will be. From understanding the nature of the crisis to ensuring a rapid and effective response to identifying and implementing the longer term lessons, governors face multiple challenges during these times. While every crisis is different, governors can learn from the experiences of their predecessors.

In addition to the many New Jersey governors who have provided advice on dealing with crisis in Eagleton Center on the American Governor interviews over the years, we have collected recommendations from several governors from other states which we highlight on this page.

First, in a 2012 interview, former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift (R, 2001-2003) discusses how 9/11 changed the focus of her administration and the importance of being surrounded by (and listening to) experts.

Then former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar (R, 1991-1999) notes in a 2010 interview how an unexpected crisis—a major flood—came to, in large part, define his legacy as governor.