What is the Executive Council?

The Executive Council is a unique government body that acts similar to a board of directors for the Governor, handling contracts and appointments.

Executive Councilors play an important role in our state, as champions for all citizens, not just the privileged few and as guarantors of transparency, efficiency, and fairness in our government. Together, the Governor and Council have the authority and responsibility over the administration of the affairs of the State, including the following duties:

  • Approval of all state contracts of more than $25,000
  • Confirmation of all judicial nominees
  • Approval of the appointments of state government department heads and members of state boards
  • Approval of New Hampshire’s 10-year transportation plan, which includes local infrastructure projects and commuter rail

Five Executive Councilors are elected every two years, concurrent with the Governor, and each represents one fifth of New Hampshire’s population, or approximately 263,000 citizens. Executive Council District 2 represents 49 municipalities and stretches from Keene to Concord to Dover and Rochester.

The sharing of executive authority between the Governor and Council began as a curb on autocracy and was once popular throughout New England. However, the New Hampshire Executive Council is the last of its kind in the nation, a Colonial era creation that reminds us of Granite State citizens’ distrust for dictatorial government.

To read more about the history of the Executive Council, click here.