Awards honor top state and local leaders from around the country.

WASHINGTON, DC — (Nov 14, 2017) — GOVERNING today announced the nine public officials who are being honored as the year’s most outstanding leaders in state and local government.

“Politics these days can be a brutal business, and a dispiriting place to be,” said Governing Executive Editor Zach Patton. “These nine public servants are examples of government at its best. Thanks to their leadership, their bold ideas and their determination, they are making tremendous improvements in the lives of the Americans they serve.”

Every year since 1994, the Public Officials of the Year program has recognized leaders from state, city and county government who exemplify the ideals of public service.

GOVERNING’s 2017 Public Officials of the Year include:

  • Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe
  • Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton
  • Kansas Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning and House Minority Leader Jim Ward
  • Broward County, Fla., Administrator Bertha Henry
  • California Government Operations Secretary Marybel Batjer
  • Oakland County, Mich., CIO Phil Bertolini
  • Cook County, Ill., Sheriff Tom Dart
  • Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen

Full profiles of each honoree are at

Public Officials of the Year are selected from nominations submitted by readers, experts in the public and private sectors and the GOVERNING editorial team. Award winners are profiled in the December issue of the magazine and on They will be honored at a dinner at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., on November 30.

About GOVERNING: Since 1987, GOVERNING has provided independent, nonpartisan coverage of state and local government. GOVERNING is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, event and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation.