Public Officials of the Year

"Make no little plans,” the Chicago architect Daniel Burnham once remarked. “They have no magic to stir men’s blood.”

If Burnham, the most famous builder of his era, could meet the 10 men and women being honored as 2018 Public Officials of the Year, he would be pleased. Not a single one among them has little plans or modest goals. They’re focused on very big ideas: providing free college to all; ending the practice of solitary confinement in state prisons; addressing agricultural pollution and the food desert problem in our cities; eliminating all traffic fatalities; making voting accessible and secure for every citizen; stopping opioid overdose deaths; and tackling the culture of sexual harassment within state capitols.

Goalsetting, of course, is the most basic responsibility of any executive. But these 10 honorees didn’t just set goals; they set ambitious, audacious, society-changing goals. Through their hard work, they’re not only accomplishing these goals, but carrying out some of the most striking public policy achievements in the nation today.

For 25 years now, Governing has honored outstanding public officials who have made an indelible impact on the lives of the people they serve. We are pleased to honor the achievements of these 10 dedicated individuals.

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Commissioner of Transportation
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Executive Director, Department of Corrections
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Former Elections Director
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Governor
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Former Public Health Commissioner
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Faith Winter, Toi Hutchinson, Karen Engleman
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Director of Sustainability
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Health Commissioner
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Administrator
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Senate Majority Leader & House Minority Leader
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Sheriff
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Chief Information Officer
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Secretary of Government Operations
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Director of Health and Human Services
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State Senator
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General Manager and CEO
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County Judge
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Executive Director, Office of Management and Budget
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County Executive
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County Prosecutor
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Commander & Sergeant
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Senate President
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State Medicaid Director
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CEO and General Manager