A lifelong public servant, Bob Holden has left his mark on the state of Missouri with support for numerous areas that include education, international relations and sustainable practices.
Holden served as Missouri’s 53rd governor from 2001-2005. He also served as Missouri state treasurer from 1993-2001, and three terms as state representative of the 136th Legislative District from 1983-1989. As state representative of the 136th Legislative District in Springfield, Holden was most proud of his ability to secure the state funding for David D. Glass Hall and Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.
He is the Missouri co-chair for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and an executive board member of the Missouri State NAACP Chapter. After leaving the governor’s office in 2005, he founded the Holden Public Policy Forum and was a professor at Webster University for 10 years. While at Webster, he helped bring the first Confucius Institute to the university.
Currently, Holden is chairman and CEO for the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA). Through the work of USHCA, Holden continues to strive toward building bridges of global understanding through culture, education and business.
Holden has served the public his entire adult life. In addition to holding elected office, he worked for state treasurers James I. Spainhower and Mel Carnahan, United States Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton, and Congressman Richard A. Gephardt.
During Holden’s time as governor, he contributed to several initiatives:
- Chaired the Midwest Governors Association.
- Opened Missouri’s first trade office in China.
- Created Missouri’s first Hispanic Outreach Committee.
- Moved Missouri from 41st to 5th in terms of women in leadership positions.
- Appointed more than 200 African American people to prominent leadership roles.
- Established the state’s first Youth Cabinet.
- Built the first LEED certified state office building in Missouri.