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Sebelius, Kathleen

Year Inducted: 
Kathleen Sebelius
  • 44th Governor of Kansas
  • 21st Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Served four terms (1987-1995) in the Kansas House of Representatives and two terms (1995-2003) as the state’s Insurance Commissioner

Kathleen Sebelius won election as the 44th Governor of Kansas in November 2002, 19 becoming the first daughter of a U. S. governor (John Gilligan, Ohio, 1971-5) to serve in that same position and was reelected to a second term in 2006. She served four terms (1987-1995) in the Kansas House of Representatives and two terms (1995-2003) as the state’s Insurance Commissioner.

Sebelius was named one of Governing magazine’s “Public Officials of the Year” and one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare” by ModernHealthcare Magazine. In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the nation’s top five governors. Through a commitment to making the state’s business climate more attractive – and by balancing the state budget without raising taxes – the Kansas economy has rebounded resulting in low unemployment and the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Because good schools equal good jobs and a growing economy, Governor Sebelius has made improving public education a priority. During her first term the state made a historic commitment to Kansas’ schoolchildren, and in her second term, Sebelius has strengthened that commitment, proposing significant funding increases for early childhood learning and pre-kindergarten programs. Another responsibility is to keep Kansas communities safe. Governor Sebelius works closely with Kansas first responders and law enforcement to prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies. In order to enhance the safety and security of Kansas citizens, the Governor proposed the creation of five regional training centers for first responders and Kansas National Guard personnel.

Since the rising cost of health care is a threat to families and businesses, the Governor is working to ensure Kansans have access to quality and affordable health care. She’s also proposed providing health insurance to every uninsured Kansas child from birth to age five in order to give these children a healthy start on life. Sebelius believes Kansas must take advantage of its enormous potential for renewable energy production. She’s working with business and community leaders, utilities, and local governments to promote wind energy and biofuels production in Kansas, as well as expanded energy efficiency and conservation efforts.

Governor Sebelius serves on the National Governors Association’s Executive Committee and is co-chair of the National Governors Association’s initiative, Securing a Clean Energy Future. Sebelius is the immediate past chair of the Education Commission of the States and as past chair of the Democratic Governors Association, she currently serves on the DGA Executive Committee.

Honors & Achievements: 

2005: Named Kansas Pioneer Woman

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