Mark R. Warner
Governor Mark R. Warner has worked hard to restore Virginia's
fiscal integrity and to build the foundation for a stronger economy,
improved education, and a better quality of life for all Virginians.
His administration has been marked by a commitment to bipartisanship,
inclusiveness, and simple accountability.
Just the Facts
- Birth Date: December 15, 1954
- Birth Place: Indianapolis, Indiana
- Undergraduate Degree: George Washington University,
- Law School Degree: Harvard,
- Family: Married to Lisa Collis; three daughters
- Madison, Gillian, and Eliza
- Religion: Presbyterian
- Party: Democrat
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out the Kids Commonwealth Web site.
New Directions, New Accomplishments for Government
Since his inauguration in January 2002, Governor Mark R. Warner has
taken a business-like approach to reforming government services and spending,
navigating Virginia through a $6 billion revenue shortfall, streamlining
state government while continuing to invest in public schools. From day
one, Governor Warner has led the most diverse administration in history
with an energetic commitment to accountability and “straight talk.”
2004, Governor Warner worked with bipartisan majorities in the General
Assembly to win passage of what has been called the most comprehensive
tax reform proposal considered by any state in the past decade. The
plan makes the tax system more fair, keeps commitments in education,
health, transportation, and tax relief, and helped Virginia retain its
sterling Triple-A credit rating from Wall Street rating agencies.
The Governor’s success in enacting budget and tax reforms led
Governing magazine to name him one of its “Public Officials
of the Year” in 2004. In 2005, Virginia was the only state in the
nation to earn straight A’s in fiscal management from teams of
experts and academics assembled by the Pew Charitable Trust and Governing magazine
report summary). The experts cited Governor Warner’s leadership
in implementing long-range planning and other businesslike reforms enacted
throughout state government.
Governor Warner serves in a leadership role in several national organizations.
The Governor serves as Chairman of the National
where he has begun a national discussion about redesigning the American
high school. He recently concluded terms as Chairman of the Southern
Governors’ Association, States’ co-chairman of the Appalachian
Regional Commission, and Chairman of the Education Commission of the
States, a national nonpartisan policy organization.
Education a Top Priority
In 2003, Governor Warner announced a series of affordable initiatives
under the banner “Education
for a Lifetime.” The ‘pre-school
through grad school and beyond’ measures are designed to move students
another rung up the ladder of educational achievement, demonstrating
the linkage between degrees and other markers of academic achievement
and economic prosperity.
Student performance on Virginia’s Standards of Learning tests
continues to rise in schools across the Commonwealth – and accountability
deadlines are looming for rising seniors and schools. The Governor’s
nationally recognized Partnership
for Achieving Successful Schools, or
PASS program, leverages the most successful programs and personnel in
Virginia schools to help make some real progress for the Commonwealth’s
academically challenged schools. The PASS initiative was recognized as
a model for improving student achievement and the quality of the workforce
by the National Alliance of Business, which gave Virginia and Governor
Warner a Distinguished Program Award for leadership in advancing the
quality of education and training.
Governor Warner launched Project
Graduation in 2003, to help high school
seniors across the state who will not receive a diploma without meeting
2004 SOL testing standards. The project marked the Governor’s commitment
to not retreat from the accountability component of the SOLs and to “walk
the extra mile” with the first class of students to face the diploma
Focusing on Core Needs and Services
In 2003, the Governor and the General Assembly worked in a bipartisan
way to enact his government reform agenda, which has been described as
the most sweeping reform of Virginia state government in a generation.
The plan brings long overdue changes in the way the state delivers mental
health, workforce development, and veterans care services. It requires
more discipline in state budgets and efficiency in service delivery,
and it better prepares the Commonwealth against the threat of terrorism.
Governor Warner has also brought common sense business principles to
the way the state purchases goods and services, manages its vehicle fleet
and real estate holdings, and maintains information technology functions,
with an appropriate emphasis on including those who own small, women-
and minority-owned businesses.
Governor Warner is working hard to build a foundation to bring economic
prosperity to all corners of Virginia. Economic development and job creation
are top priorities. Since January 2002, during difficult
economic times, he has announced more than 100,448 new and saved jobs
in the Commonwealth, representing $9.5 billion in additional investment.
In the fall of 2002, Governor Warner led a bipartisan, statewide campaign
to secure more than $1 billion in bonds for long-overdue investments
in higher education, cultural facilities, and state parks and recreation
A Virginia for All Virginians
Before he became governor, Governor Warner had a successful business
career in venture capital, funding innovative ideas, and creating jobs
and prosperity throughout Virginia and the nation. He helped found the
Virginia Health Care Foundation, which has provided health care to more
than 476,000 underserved Virginians in rural and urban areas.
Recognizing the crucial need to help bridge the digital divide, Governor
Warner started TechRiders, an innovative program that teaches basic computer
skills to those who were not exposed to them in their schools and homes.
TechRiders has been hosted in more than 480 houses of worship and a dozen
public libraries across Virginia reaching more than 16,000 participants.
In 1997, he developed the Virginia
High-Tech Partnership, which helps
students from Virginia's five Historically Black Colleges and Universities
pursue technology careers through a summer internship and job placement
Governor Warner is committed to giving everyone in the Commonwealth
the tools and opportunity to compete and thrive in the new economy. His
leadership will help ensure Virginia succeeds in an Information Age economy.
Governor Warner is married to Lisa
Collis and is the father of three
daughters -- Madison, Gillian, and Eliza.