Steven Lynn Beshear served as the 61st Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 2007–2015. He first joined the law firm of Stites & Harbison in 1987 and supervised the firm’s Lexington office until becoming Governor in 2007. Prior to serving as Governor, he served as Attorney General from 1979 to 1983 and Lieutenant Governor from 1983 to 1987. He was also a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979.
Gov. Beshear successfully brought Kentucky through the historic recession by making Kentucky a leader in job creation. Under his leadership, Kentucky’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.7% to 4.9% and the state set export records four years in a row. In all, Gov. Beshear’s administration announced almost 2,300 new and expansion projects that created $19.3 billion in investment and more than 87,000 jobs when full employment is attained. The economic turnaround culminated in 2014 by Kentucky winning Site Selection magazine’s coveted Governor’s Cup, meaning Kentucky finished first in the nation in economic development per capita.
In 2013, Gov. Beshear announced the expansion of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act and launched the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, benefitting over 500,000 Kentuckians. These actions together reduced the state’s uninsured rate from over 20% to 9% and ensured that for the first time in history every Kentuckian would have access to affordable health insurance. As Governor, he spent eight years running and managing what could be compared to a $10 billion enterprise with over 30,000 employees and a wide variety of interests.
Gov. Beshear graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts in History, and obtained his Juris Doctor with honors from UK College of Law in 1968.