Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards
Gov. John Bel Edwards was sworn in as Louisiana’s 56th governor on January 11, 2016 and since first serving as a state representative, he has proven himself to be a leader focused on moving Louisiana forward. His work has included creating greater access to quality healthcare through Medicaid expansion, stabilizing funding for higher education, implementing historic and bipartisan passed criminal justice reform legislation and creating job equality in state government. As part of his efforts, he has supported the LGBT community by issuing an executive order protecting gay and transgender state employees, state contractors and recipients of state services. He helped secure New Orleans as the venue for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game by promoting the rich diversity and inclusiveness of our great state and the city itself. In addition, Gov. Edwards has employed members of the LGBT community in his office and administration.
A native of Amite, Louisiana, Gov. Edwards is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point; Gov. Edwards served eight years as an Airborne Ranger with the United States Army and commanded a rifle company with the 82ndAirborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He then went on to graduate from the Louisiana State University Law Center. Prior to becoming governor, he served eight years in the Louisiana House of Representatives. He and his wife, First Lady Donna Edwards, have three children: Samantha Bel (son-in-law Jonathan Ricau), Sarah Ellen, and John Miller.
Through bipartisan compromise, Gov. Edwards and his administration have successfully worked toward helping to carve a path of prosperity for our state and after years of instability, Louisiana is finally on the right track. The state’s unemployment rate is at a 10 year low, the economy is stabilized for the first time in several years, Medicaid expansion has provided health insurance for more than 470,000 hardworking Louisianans and Louisiana’s economy grew faster than 35 other states within the first quarter of the year.