The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Q&A with Former NH Governor John Lynch

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Governor Lynch was elected in 2005 as the 80th Governor of New Hampshire; he served in this role for four consecutive terms until 2012. Under Gov. Lynch, New Hampshire was named the “Most Livable State” in the nation, as well as the “Safest State” for three years in a row.

During his recent visit to Dartmouth as the inaugural Perkins Bass Distinguished Visitor, Gov. Lynch spoke of bipartisanship and the upcoming challenges ahead for the state of New Hampshire.  Before presenting his public lecture on The State of State Government: Lessons from Concord, Courtney Wong '15 sat down with Gov. Lynch for a brief interview. 

Courtney Wong (CW): What will you be doing since you decided not to run for a fifth term as Governor?

Governor Lynch (GL): My expectation is that I will go back to working in the private sector, which is what I enjoyed before becoming governor. I will also do some teaching about the topics of government and how they're related to topics in the private sector. There are a lot of similarities between being CEO of a company and a leader in government.

CW: How is running a state similar to running a corporation?

GL: There are actually many similarities between the two. Before I was governor, I was the CEO of a furniture company named Knoll. I found that as governor, I had many of the same jobs responsibilities CEO of Knoll. Both positions involved having to meet the needs of customers in the most efficient way possible, working with a team towards a common goal, and earning the trust of the people that you're in charge of.

CW: Do you think that the outcome of the 2012 election was indicative of a turning point for women in politics in New Hampshire?

GL: I think the women got elected because they were the better candidates -- it's that simple. As I look at the races, I think the women were just better than the men. Although with that said, I think that women's issues played a significant role in this election outcome. I think women voters perceived the Republican candidates as too far to the right in this past election cycle.

You can check out an article from The Dartmouth about Gov. Lynch's visit here.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences