About Jay

Governor Inslee

Jay Inslee is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who has lived and worked on both sides of the Cascades. He grew up in the Seattle area where his father, Frank, was a high school teacher and coach. His mother worked as a sales clerk at Sears & Roebuck. Jay worked his way through college and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in economics before earning his law degree at Willamette University. He and his wife, Trudi, then moved to Selah, a small town near Yakima where they raised their three sons. Jay worked as an attorney and prosecutor.

Jay and Trudi are now proud grandparents to three active little Inslees. Besides writing and illustrating books for his grandchildren and sketching scenes from around Washington, Jay is an avid cyclist and charter member of Hoopaholics, a youth basketball academy.

Jay first became involved in public service in 1985 when he and Trudi helped lead the effort to build a new public high school in Selah. Motivated to fight against proposed funding cuts for rural schools, Jay went on to represent the 14th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives. He continued serving communities in the Yakima Valley when he was elected to Congress in 1992. The Inslees later moved back to the Puget Sound area where Jay was elected to Congress in 1998, serving until 2012 when he was elected governor. He was re-elected in 2016. 

During his time in Congress, Jay became known as a forward-thinking leader, especially on issues of clean energy and the environment. He co-wrote a book, "Apollo's Fire: Igniting America's Clean-Energy Economy," about a national program to fight climate change through clean energy innovation and job-creation.

As governor, Jay's top priority is growing Washington's innovative industries such as clean energy, information technology and life sciences, and strengthening existing industries such as aerospace, agriculture, maritime and the military. Since 2013, Washington has experienced a 30-year low in unemployment rates, record exports and has consistently ranked as one of the top states for business.

To prepare young Washingtonians for the economy of tomorrow, Jay launched Career Connect Washington, a transformative initiative to help all our students prepare and train for in-demand jobs, whether they choose college, an apprenticeship, mentorship or other post-secondary path.

And because Washington’s diversity is a cornerstone of the state’s cultural and economic vibrancy, Jay is working tirelessly to ensure Washington remains a beacon of hope and opportunity for all, welcoming people of all faiths, nationalities, orientations and abilities.

During his time as governor, some of Jay’s top accomplishments include:

  • Investing in an education system that sets up all students for success, from early learning to career training
    • Tackling the decade-long struggle to fully fund basic education and reinvesting billions of new dollars into our K-12 schools so they can hire and retain good teachers, provide mentoring for new educators, and provide ample support for students.
    • Unprecedented expansion of early learning and all-day kindergarten.
    • First-in-the-nation tuition reductions for all college students and the most robust financial aid program in the nation.
    • Launching of the transformative Career Connect Washington initiative to help all students find a pathway to in-demand jobs through apprenticeships, mentorships, and other career-connected opportunities.
  • Promoting a strong economy and a valued workforce
  • Combating climate change, promoting clean air and water and supporting clean energy jobs
    • Reducing use of coal and fossil fuels with Executive Order 14-04, which includes a commitment to phase out electricity imported from coal-fired sources.
    • Investing more than $76 million in projects that support clean energy research and development, grid modernization, energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment, and clean energy manufacturing in the state. 
    • Ensuring that regulatory review of proposed energy projects includes a comprehensive analysis of greenhouse gas impacts.
    • Electrifying the state’s transportation system, including support for more electric vehicles and electrifying our ferries. Washington remains among the top three states for zero-emission vehicle penetration, and the state is helping to lead that trend through its aggressive procurement policy.
    • Co-founding and co-chairing the bipartisan U.S. Climate Alliance, a 17-governor coalition working to uphold U.S. goals under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 
    • Implementing a Clean Air Rule to cap carbon emissions.
    • Working with West Coast leaders and global partners through multiple partnerships, including the Pacific Coast Collaborative, Ocean Acidification Alliance and the Under2 Coalition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy jobs.
    • Protecting Washington’s orca and salmon populations through numerous efforts to prevent oil spills and reduce toxic substances.
  • Data-driven and transparent state government