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As a champion of excellence in state governance, The Council of State Governments West (CSG West) provides state legislators and legislative staff with valuable relationship building and professional growth opportunities through a variety of member-driven, regionally focused programs and services. Highly informative conversation and peer-to-peer collaboration are the focus of our regular convenings, with a keen eye on supporting important state and regional policy efforts.

Membership is automatic for western legislators and legislative staff, and our members value the chance to confer with peers from other states in a nonpartisan atmosphere as they share cross-border knowledge and lessons learned in a variety of areas.

Whether addressing concerns specific to the region, assessing international dynamics, or honing essential leadership and consensus-building skills, CSG West’s programs are designed to assist elected leaders throughout the west in becoming more effective in their work.  

CSG West is particularly unique in the broader organization as the only region of CSG with dual international borders, a fact that is embraced and explored through several special programs and forums designed to foster the exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices on topics related to international relations and their intersection with state governance. 

Quite unlike any other organization, the broader CSG structure enables our various operations to access valuable resources at the regional, national, and international levels. Three CSG key offerings available to members across all regions include:

  • Access to a national perspective on key topics to help expand their knowledge base
  • In the realm of justice reform, the CSG Justice Center offers access to objective, data-driven research to support state-based justice efforts
  • Through the National Center for Interstate Compacts, states can receive information and technical assistance to develop interstate compacts which promote multi-state problem solving.

Our History Withstands the Test of Time

Henry Wolcott Toll was a Colorado state Senator who believed that if states wished to maintain control over inherent state issues, interstate cooperation was imperative. The strength of his conviction led him to establish what was once the American Legislators Association in 1925 with one straightforward goal: to provide elected state legislators with information and opportunities to connect. Enjoying significant success, the effort evolved. Senator Toll and a dozen colleagues formally established The Council of State Governments (CSG) in 1933 as a national organization serving all three branches of government. Initially based in Chicago, Illinois, CSG moved its headquarters to Lexington, Kentucky in 1967 – where it remains to this day –  providing essential leadership nationally and to the regional operations at CSG East, established in 1937; CSG Midwest, established in 1945; and CSG West and the Southern Legislative Conference, both established in 1947.  

Our Member Services are Highly Valued

Through our work, we strive to keep members informed about critical issues, emerging trends, and best practices impacting the work of states. This includes opportunities to attend regularly scheduled meetings, participate in leadership training programs, receive informational updates, and utilize all available resources. Whether your interest is in attending meetings to collaborate with fellow leaders or requesting research assistance for your issue work, our staff is available to help. We can be reached via email or telephone at csgw@csg.org or 916-553-4423.

Our Governance is Member Driven

Governance of CSG West is run with member needs top of mind, particularly given the weighty responsibilities of our members. Composed of Executive Committee members, officers are elected annually and rotated to ensure a bi-partisan approach in their direct oversight of the organization’s work. Acting as our governing board, the Executive Committee is made up of legislative leaders from each state and meets each year during the CSG West Annual Meeting – our marquee event — to review the work of CSG West policy committees, adopt policy positions and recommendations, and review the ongoing development and effectiveness of the organization.

Officers
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Assemblymember Mike Gipson

California

Chair

Born and raised in Watts, Asm. Mike A. Gipson always knew that he wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of those he encountered throughout his community and beyond. His undeniable passion for public…

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Senator Bill Hansell

Oregon

Chair-Elect

Senator Hansell is serving in his third term in the Oregon state legislature representing District 29, which encompasses parts of seven counties located in Eastern Oregon. His district is rural and is the third largest in…

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Representative Mike Yin

Wyoming

Vice-Chair

Wyoming State Representative Mike Yin represents the residents of Jackson, Wyoming in the heart of Jackson Hole. In his second term, he currently sits on five committees doing the work to serve his community and state.…

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Executive Committee

Alaska

  • President Gary Stevens, President of the Senate, CSG Past Chair
  • Senator Matt Claman, Co-Chair – Public Safety Committee
  • Senator Cathy Giessel, Senate Majority Leader
  • Speaker Cathy Tilton, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Dan Saddler, House Majority Leader
  • Representative Calvin Schrage, House Minority Leader

Arizona

  • President Warren Petersen, President of the Senate
  • Senator Raquel Terán, Senate Minority Leader
  • Speaker Ben Toma, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Andrés Cano, House Minority Leader

California

  • President Pro Tem Toni G. Atkins, Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Senator Brian W. Jones, Senate Minority Leader
  • Speaker Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the Assembly
  • Assemblymember James Gallagher, Minority Leader
  • Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson, Majority Whip
  • Assemblymember Mike Gipson, CSG West Chair
  • Assemblymember David Alvarez, Co-Chair – Legislative Oversight Working Group

Colorado

  • President Steve Fenberg, President of the Senate
  • Senator Paul Lundeen, Senate Minority Leader
  • Speaker Julie McCluskie, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Mike Lynch, House Minority Leader
  • Representative Cathy Kipp, Co-Chair Education Committee

Hawaii

  • President Ronald Kouchi, President of the Senate
  • Senator Kurt Fevella, Minority Leader
  • Speaker Scott Saiki, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Lauren Matsumoto, Minority Leader
  • Representative Nicole E. Lowen, Co-Chair Energy & Environment Committee

Idaho

  • President Pro Tempore Chuck Winder, Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Senator Melissa Wintrow, Minority Leader
  • Speaker Mike Moyle, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Ilana Rubel, Minority Leader
  • Representative Lance W. Clow, Co-Chair Education Committee

Montana

  • President Jason Ellsworth, President of the Senate
  • Senator Pat Joseph Flowers, Minority Leader
  • Speaker Matt Regier, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Kim Abbott, Minority Leader
  • Representative Wendy McKamey, Co-Chair Agriculture & Water Committee
  • *Joe Kolman, Chair – Legislative Service Agency & Research Directors

Nevada

  • Senator Heidi Seevers Gansert, Minority Leader
  • Senator Rochelle T. Nguyen, Co-Chair Health Committee
  • Assemblyman Philip P.K. O’Neil, Minority Floor Leader
  • Assemblyman Howard Watts, III, Co-Chair Colorado River Forum

New Mexico

  • Senator Mimi Stewart, President Pro Tempore
  • Senator Gregory Baca, Minority Floor Leader
  • Senator Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics, Co-Chair Westrends Board
  • Speaker Javier I. Martinez, Speaker of the House
  • Representative T. Ryan lane, Minority Floor Leader

Oregon

  • President Rob Wagner, President of the Senate
  • Senator Tim Knopp, Minority Leader
  • Senator Bill Hansell, CSG West Vice Chair
  • Speaker Dan Rayfield, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson, Minority Leader
  • Representative Lily Morgan, Co-Chair Public Safety Committee

Utah

  • President Stuart Adams, President of the Senate, Past CSG West Chair
  • Senator Luz Escamilla, Minority Leader
  • Senator Todd Weiler, Co-Chair Legislative Oversight Working Group
  • Speaker Brad Wilson, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Brian S. King, Minority Leader
  • Represenative Steve Eliason, Co-Chair Health Committee
  • Representative Andrew Stoddard, 2022 WLA Class President

Washington

  • Senator Andy Billig, Majority Leader
  • Senator John Braun, Minority Leader
  • Senator Sam Hunt, CSG West Past Chair
  • Speaker Laurie Jinkins, Speaker of the House
  • Representative J.T. Wilcox, Minority Leader
  • Representative Debra Lekanoff, Co-Chair Canada Relations Committee

Wyoming

  • President Ogden Driskill, President of the Senate
  • Senator Larry Hicks, Majority Floor Leader, Co-Chair Colorado River Forum
  • Senator Chris Rothfuss, Minority Floor Leader
  • Senator Eric Barlow, Co-Chair Energy & Environment Committee
  • Speaker Albert Sommers, Speaker of the House
  • Representative Mike Yin, Minority Floor Leader, CSG West Vice Chair
  • Representative Landon Brown, Co-Chair Westrends Board

American Samoa

  • (Presently None)

Baja California

  • Diputado Roman Cota Muñoz, Co-Chair Border Legislative Conference

Guam

  • (Presently None)

Northern Mariana Islands

  • (Presently None)

Alberta, Canada

  • (Presently None)

British Columbia, Canada

  • (Presently None)
Staff
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Edgar Ruiz

Director

Edgar Ruiz serves as Director of The Council of State Governments West (CSG West), leading the organization since November 2011. He oversees CSG West’s many flagship programs and services that encourage peer-to-peer sharing and professional development…

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Martha Castañeda

Director of Policy & International Programs

Martha Castañeda serves as Director of Policy and International Programs, a position she has held since 2016. She…

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Will Keyse

Legislative Training Manager

Will Keyse serves as the Legislative Training Manager for The Council of State Governments (CSG) West. In this…

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Amanda Korte

Marketing & Advancement Manager

Amanda Korte leads The Council of State Governments West’s marketing and advancement initiatives. Including work on member engagement,…

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Jonathan Lennartz

Policy Analyst

Jonathan Lennartz serves as The Council of State Government West (CSG West) lead staff for the Education and…

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Shilpa Patel

Policy Analyst

Shilpa Patel provides support for The Council of State Governments West (CSG West) as lead staff to the…

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Jennifer Schanze

Director of Operations

Jennifer has been with The Council of State Governments West (CSG West) since 2011 and is the organization’s…

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Jacqueline Tinetti

Policy Analyst

Jackie Tinetti leads The Council of State Governments West’s (CSG West) Natural Resources portfolio, covering the dynamic issue…

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Patricia Villalba-Fletes

Membership & Meetings Coordinator

Patricia Villalba-Fletes serves as Membership & Meetings Coordinator for The Council of State Governments West (CSG West). She…

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Carina West

Senior Meetings Coordinator

Carina West serves as Senior Meetings Coordinator for The Council of State Governments West (CSG West). In this…

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CSG National Officers & Staff
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Governor John Carney

Delaware

CSG National President


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Representative Julia Howard

North Carolina

CSG 2022 National Chair-Elect

Julia Howard is serving her 14th two-year term in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Representative Howard serves as senior chair of the House Finance Committee and vice chair of the House Committee on Banking; she…


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Deputy Speaker Kevin Ryan

Connecticut

CSG National Chair-Elect


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Senator Elgie Sims

Illinois

CSG National Vice-Chair


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Former Governor David Ige

Hawaii

CSG Immediate Past National President

Governor David Y. Ige was sworn in as the eighth governor of the State of Hawai‘i on December 1, 2014. Governor Ige is focused on improving the lives of Hawaiʻi’s people and making the islands a…


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Senator Sam Hunt

Washington

CSG 2022 National Chair

Sam Hunt was elected to represent the 22nd District of the Washington Senate in 2016 after serving 16 years in the state’s House of Representatives. He is the chair of the State Government, Tribal Relations and…


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David Adkins

Executive Director and CEO

David Adkins leads The Council of State Governments as its executive director and CEO. Prior to joining CSG, Adkins served as vice chancellor for external affairs at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Adkins, a graduate…

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