Gray Davis was overwhelmingly elected the 37th governor of California in 1998, winning 58 percent of the vote. As Governor, he made education a top priority, signing legislation to strengthen California's K-12 system, increasing accountability in schools, and expanding access to higher education with a record number of scholarships and college loans. These reforms improved student achievement scores for six consecutive years.
While presiding over California during an economic expansion, Gray made record investments in infrastructure, created four Centers of Science and Innovation on UC campuses, and expanded state health insurance for an additional one million children. He also was the first Governor in the nation to authorize stem cell research. As Governor, he demonstrated bold environmental leadership by signing the first law in the nation to reduce global warming and greenhouse gases. He also created the first Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Registry, and was the first to establish the nation's most ambitious commitment to renewable energy by creating the statewide Renewables Portfolio Standard. Despite a wave of Republican victories across the nation in 2002, Gray was re-elected to a second term.
Governor Davis is also a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, and regularly speaks before various academic and civic groups. Gray serves on several civic boards, including the Saban Free Clinic, and is the Co-Chair for the Southern California Leadership Council.