CHICAGO, IL — Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton has become president of the National Governors Association at Friday’s annual meeting, making history as the first black woman to hold the office, according to a statement from the State of Illinois. She is also the first black woman to be elected to a constitutional office in Illinois.
According to the statement, the NLGA was founded in 1962 as a professional and educational association for elected officials who are the first line of succession to governors of all 50 states and five territorial jurisdictions.
The statement explained that Stratton had been elected by a bipartisan vote and would serve until August 2023.
Stratton began her political journey at her college, where she organized voter registration drives and promoted “education for all” at a local school board.
She gained more experience in executive leadership roles for government agencies and eventually became the state representative for the Fifth District.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker praised Stratton in a statement in the release, saying she was the kind of creative leader who pushes people forward and inspires creative, equity-focused solutions to the most great challenges.
So what does being NLGA President mean to Stratton? She says it best in her own words: