About the Governing Institute

The Governing Institute is a three-year-old initiative of Governing and e.Republic focused on improving state and local government performance and strengthening public-sector innovation, leadership and citizen engagement. It is led by Julia Burrows, a former city official who led sustainability initiative for Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Kevin Johnson, who was appointed as the Institute's director in August, 2014.
Burrows is the former president and executive director of Greenwise Joint Venture, a nonprofit focused on making the Sacramento region a hub for clean technology. In this role, she also served as senior adviser to Mayor Johnson on sustainability, climate and resiliency initiatives. Earlier in her career, Burrows was deputy city manager and economic development director for the Northern California city of Roseville.
Burrows brings deep experience in sustainability, energy and hazard mitigation. During her 22-year career at Roseville, Burrows led pioneering efforts to create a city climate action plan and launch green initiatives. She also has expertise in financing city resiliency and climate adaptation activities.
She reports to Governing Publisher Mark Funkhouser, who is the former mayor of Kansas City, Mo., who served as the founding Director of the Governing Institute since its inception in July, 2011.
“Julia’s breadth of experience, the relationships she has developed with a wide range of public officials, and the passion and enthusiasm she brings to our mission are perfect for her role as director of the Governing Institute,” said Funkhouser.
Besides directing the Governing Institute’s research and advisory operations, Burrows will continue to build out the Institute’s Senior Fellow network of former government officials and help launch and sustain several initiatives including:
  • A Women in Government Fellowship Program aimed at nurturing future women leaders.
  • A state procurement study and a state-by-state ranking of purchasing practices.
  • A financial literacy series for state and local government officials.
“I am excited to bring my unique experience, perspective and enthusiasm to the Governing Institute,” said Burrows. “I have always been a fan of the Governing brand and look forward to helping cities, counties, states and the industry ecosystem supporting government around the nation.”
Burrows joined e.Republic from Enable Energy, a renewable energy technology company, where she vice president of corporate relations and advancement and remains as a board member for the company.
Since 1987, GOVERNING has provided state and local leaders with the non-partisan information, insight and intelligence needed to govern effectively.   As a catalyst for innovation, GOVERNING is dedicated to covering the politics, policies and programs essential to this audience.  See
GOVERNING is a division of e.Republic, a national publishing, event and research company focused on smart media for public sector innovation. See