Governor Rell: Biographical Information

Biographical Information

Governor M. Jodi Rell
    87th Governor of Connecticut  
      {Photo of Governor M. Jodi Rell}



87th Governor of Connecticut


Over Two Decades of Public Service:


On January 3, 2007, Governor M. Jodi Rell was sworn in for her own term as Governor of the great State of Connecticut. She is the state’s 87th Governor and the first-ever woman Republican Governor of Connecticut.


Governor Rell has held elected office in Connecticut for more than two decades. She holds the state’s highest office after serving as the 105th Lieutenant Governor for over nine years. Governor Rell also represented the 107th House District of Brookfield in the state House of Representatives where she held key leadership posts, including Deputy House Minority Leader and Assistant House Minority Leader.


Bold Approach for Connecticut:


Governor Rell’s bold approach to state government has gone a long way in protecting Connecticut families and businesses. In fact, her leadership on the critical issues facing Connecticut, such as the state’s current fiscal crisis, education, transportation, the environment, healthcare and government reform, has helped to make Connecticut an even better place to live, work and raise a family.


In February 2009, Governor Rell unveiled her 2009 budget plan for Fiscal Years 2010-2011 – a budget that shrinks state government and makes it more accountable to taxpayers.  The highlights include no tax increases; no cuts to municipal aid or education aid; mandate relief; a ‘Green Collar’ job initiative; Office of Accountability; and other initiatives to address the state’s $6 billion budget deficit.


Under Governor Rell’s leadership, the state has made unprecedented investments – more than any other Connecticut governor – in innovative early childhood programs and education aid (ECS) for our cities and towns.


She has helped to make our citizens safer and our criminal justice system stronger by enacting tough new penalties for career criminals and providing our criminal justice personnel with tools to keep dangerous felons off the streets.


During the 2007 legislative session, Governor Rell enacted her historic Charter Oak Health Plan to bring affordable healthcare coverage to thousands of uninsured adults. The Charter Oak Health Plan officially launched on July 1, 2008.


The Governor has also been successful in striking a balance between growth and preservation by implementing “responsible growth” policies and launching her OneThing campaign to promote energy conservation at home and in the workplace.


Governor Rell also led “Team Connecticut” in saving the Groton/New London Submarine Base from closure and its 31,000 jobs statewide. A similar statewide, bipartisan effort headed by the Governor and others also blocked the proposed Broadwater liquefied natural gas platform for Long Island Sound.  


In her first two years in office, Governor Rell helped break the state’s transportation gridlock with her historic investments in the state’s railways, busways, highways and ports.  She also championed legislation to invest $100 million in stem cell research in Connecticut


She restored faith, integrity and trust back to state government by proposing and signing into law landmark campaign finance reforms and creating a stronger, restructured State Ethics Commission.


From enhancing our children’s education and protecting our economy to providing access to affordable healthcare and making our cities and towns safer, Governor Rell has achieved a long list of accomplishments that will benefit this generation of Connecticut residents and for generations to come who will proudly call this state home.


Leadership as Lieutenant Governor:


As Lieutenant Governor, Jodi Rell demonstrated the same leadership for Connecticut families and businesses.


She launched an unprecedented effort to guarantee that Connecticut’s schools and libraries have access to the best possible technology and that students are “cyber-ready” by the sixth grade. Her work resulted in the creation of the Connecticut Education Network, the nation’s first all-optical network.


She also championed initiatives to give recognition for those who served our country and communities – from veterans to firefighters. These efforts include securing funding for thermal imaging cameras used by firefighters in each of the more than 300 fire departments in the state and helping to craft a new law allowing honorably discharged World War II veterans to receive high school diplomas if, because of their military service, they left high school to serve their country.


A Community Leader:


Over the past several years, Governor Rell has served on various local, state and national organizations. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut and the Candlewood Lions Club. She was previously active in the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors and served as President of the National Order of Women Legislators (NOWLS).


In 2008, the American Medical Association recognized Governor Rell as an “Outstanding Governor” when they presented her with the prestigious Dr. Nathan Davis Award. She was also recently recognized by the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges for her commitment to education.


In September 2006, Common Cause, Public Campaign and Democracy Matters recognized Governor Rell with the “Clean Elections MVP Award” for her efforts to promote democracy and restore elections to the voters of Connecticut.


Over the past few years, she has also received the Mary Waterman Award from the Breast Cancer Alliance for her “outstanding individual achievement in the search for a cure for breast cancer”; the “Woman of Merit Award” from the Connecticut Valley Girl Scout Council; and the 2005 CURE Award for Excellence “for significant contribution or achievement in Connecticut bioscience.”


In 2003, she was named a Melvin Jones Fellow, the highest form of recognition conferred by the Lions Club International Foundation for representing humanitarian qualities such as generosity, compassion and concern for the less fortunate.


Governor Rell also received special honors from the Uniformed Professional Firefighters, AmeriCares, Arthritis Foundation, Connecticut Race for the Cure, Connecticut Library Association, Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Administrators, Connecticut Preservation Council and the Connecticut Federation of Business and Professional Women.


Other Biographical Facts:


Governor Rell was born in Norfolk, Virginia. She attended Old Dominion University and Western Connecticut State University. She received honorary doctor of law degrees from the University of Hartford in 2001 and the University of New Haven in 2004.


She and her husband, Lou, have made their home in Brookfield, Connecticut for many years. They have two grown children and three grandchildren: Meredith, her husband Matthew O’Connor and their sons Tyler and Shane; and Michael, his wife Maura and their daughter, Madeline. 


Updated February 2009




Content Last Modified on 5/22/2009 4:57:33 PM

Home | Home Send Feedback | Login |  Register

State of Connecticut Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.  Copyright © 2002 - 2011 State of Connecticut.