2017 Four Pillar Tribute Recipient

Governor Nathan Deal

State of Georgia
Office of the Governor

Governor Nathan DealSince taking office in 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal has led Georgia to become the No. 1 state in the nation for business for four years in a row – a first in Georgia history – and helped create more than 575,000 private sector jobs. Through tax reform, workforce development initiatives and investment in education and infrastructure, the state continues to grow local small businesses and attract top companies from around the world. Under Deal’s leadership, Georgia has produced six balanced budgets, saved millions of taxpayer dollars by maintaining Georgia’s AAA bond rating and grown the Rainy Day Reserve Fund to more than $2 billion.

In order to keep up with a growing infrastructure demand, Deal implemented a number of investments in Georgia’s transportation system, including Transportation Funding Act of 2015, which will generate $10 billion in new transportation funding over 10 years. Transportation projects under Deal have already alleviated traffic and improved safety for a growing state, including the completion of the Jimmy DeLoach Parkway extension near the Port of Savannah.

When Deal took office, Georgia was in the midst of a criminal justice crisis, with high incarceration costs and recidivism rates. To address these issues, Deal implemented a series of bipartisan reforms, including expanded access to Accountability Courts, greater sentencing discretion for juvenile court judges and removing barriers to give returning citizens a chance to rejoin the workforce and support their families. These reforms have already paid dividends by saving taxpayers $264 million and reducing the need for 5,000 prison beds.

Deal has also made investments in education a top priority to strengthen the workforce pipeline that runs from the classroom to the job market. As governor, he has devoted a higher percentage of the budget to k-12 funding than any governor in the past 50 years, worked closely with the General Assembly to save the HOPE Scholarship from bankruptcy, expanded the HOPE Grant for students attending technical colleges, and established the REACH Georgia Scholarship, a public-private partnership that provides scholarships to high-achieving students in underserved areas.

A Sandersville native, Deal served in the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon after graduating with a college degree and a law degree with honors from Mercer University. While his wife, Sandra, taught in Hall County public schools, Deal began a career in private law practice and in public service, working as a prosecutor, judge, state senator and U.S. Congressman for Georgia’s 9th District. He was elected Georgia’s 82nd governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. The Deals have four adult children and six grandchildren.