Dave Heineman is a native Nebraskan, born in Falls City and raised in Fairbury, McCook, Benkelman and Wahoo, where he graduated from high school. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1970 and served five years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of captain. He is also a graduate of the Army's Airborne and Ranger Schools.
Heineman was first elected to a statewide office in 1994, as the Nebraska State Treasurer. He was re-elected to that post in 1998. As Treasurer, he implemented the Nebraska College Savings Plan, which has been recognized as one of the best college savings programs in the country.
Heineman was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2002. As Lieutenant Governor, he served as Nebraska's director of Homeland Security, chairman of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission (NITC), and the presiding officer of the Nebraska Legislature.
Heineman was sworn-in as Nebraska's 39th Governor in 2005 when Governor Mike Johanns became the Secretary of Agriculture. Heineman was elected to his first full term on November 7, 2006, by the largest margin in recent history. Governor Heineman's vision is based on four priorities: education, economic vitality, efficiency in government, and protecting families.
Since becoming Governor, he has worked with the Nebraska Legislature to pass the largest tax relief package in the history of the state and the most comprehensive jobs creation, economic incentive legislation since the 1980s. Heineman also has signed into law a bill making the Department of Health and Human Services more efficient, effective and accountable.
A leader for Nebraska's agricultural industry, Heineman has secured a $400 million trade agreement with Taiwan for Nebraska wheat, soybeans and corn. He also signed two $30 million trade agreements with Cuba for Nebraska wheat, soybeans, dry beans, pork and beef. Nebraska has also opened its first international trade office abroad, The Nebraska Center in Tokyo, Japan.