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Jared Polis ’96: Governor of Colorado

Colorado Governor Jared Polis ’96 sat for a portrait.
Courtesy of Jared Polis gubernatorial website

Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) has weathered a tumultuous year, as the pandemic and massive wildfires have ravaged the Centennial State. In June, protests over Elijah McClain’s killing forced Colorado to confront systemic racial injustice.

In March, Polis issued a mandatory stay-at-home order. Since then, he has signed more than 150 executive orders related to COVID-19, some of which have sparked resistance.


In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, millions of Americans demanded justice for Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man whom Colorado police killed in 2019. In June, Polis passed an executive order ordering the state to investigate McClain’s killing.

On Juneteenth, Polis also signed a police accountability bill that eliminated the “fleeing felon” statute, which had permitted Colorado officers to shoot fleeing felony suspects. The law also banned chokeholds and invalidated qualified immunity as a defense against police liability.

Polis, who represented Colorado’s 2nd district from 2009 to 2019, was the first gay parent elected to Congress and the first openly gay person elected to a state governorship.

At Princeton, he received an A.B. in politics and served in the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). In 1995, Polis (then known as Jared Schutz) helped organize the first USG election in which students could vote online.