Gov. Mary Fallin on Sunday was named the vice chairman of the National Governors Association, the bipartisan organization of the nation's governors.
Fallin, elected governor in November 2010, is the first Oklahoma governor to serve as vice chairman of the group. She was named last year to the organization's nine-member executive committee.
The first female governor elected in Oklahoma, Fallin is the third woman to serve as vice chairman of the National Governors Association.
“I'm honored to have been selected by my peers to serve as NGA vice chair,” Fallin said in a news release issued Sunday. “It's not only a privilege for me personally, it's also a welcome acknowledgment of the legislative successes we've made in Oklahoma and the state's continued economic growth and forward progress.
“The NGA is a well-respected and trusted source of innovative public policy solutions for our nation's governors,” she said. “I'm excited by the opportunity to serve and eager to share the great ideas and policies of the Sooner State with the rest of the NGA.”
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell was named chairman of the National Governors Association. Markell is a Democrat; the chairman and vice chairman rotate political parties each year.
The National Governors Association named the new leaders during the group's closing session of its annual meeting in Williamsburg, Va.
Fallin, as vice chairman, will also serve as chairman of the National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices Board.
The National Governors Association is governed by its executive committee; the chairman and vice chairman are voting members of the committee. The chairman, in consultation with the vice chairman, makes all committee and task force assignments.
As a result of her being named vice chairman, Fallin's husband, Wade Christensen, will serve as vice chairman of the first spouses' leadership committee.
The National Governors Association was founded in 1908. Its members are the governors of the states, territories and commonwealths. Among the services it provides to governors is representing states on national issues and developing solutions to public policy challenges.
Fallin is scheduled to be in Detroit on Monday where she and two members of her Cabinet will meet with U.S. auto manufacturers to discuss producing more affordable compressed natural gas vehicles for state fleets that would be available for the average car buyer, too.
The nonpartisan effort, first announced last fall by Fallin and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, also would increase the demand for natural gas and likely improve natural gas prices, which would aid energy-rich states such as Oklahoma. Hickenlooper will join the Oklahoma officials on the trip.