Jennifer M. Granholm
Former Governor of Michigan
Distinguished Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law & Goldman School of Public Policy
Senior Research Fellow, Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI)
and Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)
Jennifer Granholm is the former governor and attorney general of Michigan. In addition to teaching courses in law and public policy at UC Berkeley, Granholm is a senior research fellow at the UC Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute (BECI) and the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). She’s also the co-chair of Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that is supporting Hillary Clinton for President in 2016.
She served as Michigan’s 47th governor from 2003 to 2011 and as Michigan’s Attorney General before that, from 1998-2002. After leaving office, she was an advisor to Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Program, where she led a national campaign for clean energy policies. Granholm also hosted Current TV’s political news analysis show “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm” and co-authored with her husband, Dan Mulhern, “A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future.”
Granholm is one of the nation’s leading authorities on clean energy policy. During her tenure, she pioneered clean energy policies, working with business, labor, Republicans and Democrats, to create new economic opportunities in Michigan. In 2005, the Granholm economic development team put together an aggressive strategy to make Michigan the hub of clean-energy development in North America by developing entire supply chains in Michigan, fostering critical partnerships between industry, government and researchers and by creating economic incentives that made Michigan the place to locate. Granholm’s plan included specific clustering strategies targeted at battery manufacturing, bio-energy, solar, and wind power.
In addition to diversifying Michigan’s economy, Granholm focused on creating jobs, attracting international investment, improving education, and training Michigan’s workers to promote the state’s long-term economic health. She pushed Michigan to double the number of college graduates and signed into law a college prep curriculum for every high school student in Michigan in addition to some of the toughest turnaround requirements for low-performing schools in the nation. In 2007, she launched the No Worker Left Behind program, which gave unemployed and under-employed citizens the opportunity to attend community college or technical school and receive training for high-demand jobs by offering state-paid tuition to Michigan’s displaced adults.
Under her leadership, Michigan had the second highest rate of child health care coverage in the nation, despite the economic challenges. She received praise for her commitment to the cultivating new jobs in Michigan. During her tenure as governor, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation brought in almost 4,000 companies or expansions projected to create 653,000 jobs. While serving as governor, Michigan was repeatedly named one of the top three states in the nation for business locations or expansions and was twice recognized by The Pew Center on the States as one of the best-managed states in the nation. According to the Gallup Job Creation Index, Michigan led the country in the improvement of job market conditions between 2009 and 2010. Granholm was also a fiscal hawk— cutting a greater percentage from state government than any state in the nation and resolving more than $14 billion in budget deficits. For example, she eliminated 25 percent of state departments, shut down 13 prison facilities, and reformed public employee benefits and pensions.
Granholm is an honors graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School. She and her husband have three children.