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Jim Edgar    

38th Governor of Illinois

Jim Edgar, a distinguished fellow with IGPA, was the 38th governor of Illinois. As governor, he made fiscal discipline and children the cornerstones of his two terms. First elected in 1990, Governor Edgar won re-election in 1994 by the largest margin ever for a governor. Four years later Governor Edgar left office with the highest approval rating in state history. At the end of his tenure as governor, the Chicago Tribune stated that Governor Edgar's "instincts and motives were as sound as those of any governor the state has had."

Now, the former governor wants to use his political accomplishments to enhance the educational experience of university students.

Edgar has served in a variety of leadership roles, including president of the Council of State Governments, as a member of the executive committee of the National Governors' Association and as chairman of the Midwest Governors' Association. He has also been a Resident Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Governor Edgar serves on a variety of civic and corporate boards of directors.

By the time he left office in January 1999, Governor Edgar had eliminated the backlog in payments of the state's bills, given the state a surplus and reduced the size of state government. He had also fought for and won passage of historic legislation on the way Illinois schools are funded and had overhauled the state's child welfare system.

Before becoming governor, Edgar served as secretary of state for 10 years and was elected to the Illinois House from Charleston in 1976. He received a B.S. in history from Eastern Illinois University in 1968.

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