JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is an honors graduate of both the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard Law School. Granholm began her career in public service as a judicial clerk for 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Granholm became a federal prosecutor in Detroit in 1990. In 1994, Granholm was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel. She was elected Michigan’s first female attorney general in 1998.
Granholm was elected governor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. Since taking office, she has successfully resolved more than $4 billion in budget deficits. She has worked to ensure that state government spends every penny efficiently, while aggressively pursuing her top priority of putting Michigan families first.
Granholm has employed a comprehensive economic agenda which includes creating thousands of jobs for Michigan workers by accelerating infrastructure projects, training unemployed workers for high-demand jobs, and diversifying Michigan’s economy through an unprecedented $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund. She has convinced more than 90 companies, including Google, to choose Michigan for relocation or expansion; and her two investment missions to Japan have brought back millions of dollars in new investment and more than a thousand new jobs.
Granholm has expanded health care coverage for 300,000 uninsured Michiganians. She saved the state nearly $40 million in 2003 by introducing the nation's first bulk-buying pool for prescription drugs. In 2004, she extended those savings to citizens by introducing the MiRx Card which provides discount prescription drugs to thousands of uninsured families. Her Michigan First Health Care plan will be the first in the state’s history to extend universal access to affordable health care to every family in Michigan.
Granholm has increased spending for Michigan’s public schools to record levels. She has championed universal access to higher education. In December 2006, she signed legislation creating the Michigan Promise scholarship, a program that will award $4,000 to every Michigan student who successfully completes two years of post-secondary education.
In the face of rising fuel prices that followed hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Granholm increased the number of gas station inspectors to ensure that Michigan consumers were getting what they paid for. In 2005, Governing magazine named Michigan the third best-managed state in the nation. Granholm serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Governors Association and Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee of the National Governors Association.