“The Future of American Cities“
From his time as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, Cuyahoga County Commissioner, Cuyahoga County Auditor, Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, Mayor of Cleveland and Governor of Ohio to his twelve years as Ohio’s senior United States Senator, George Voinovich has strived for more than 40 years to make all levels of government “work harder and smarter and do more with less.” As mayor of Cleveland, USA Today credited him with “turning the nation’s 22nd largest city from a laughingstock in the 1970s into a three-time All-America City winner during the 1980s”. His work rebuilding the city through public-private partnerships earned him additional praise from the National Urban Coalition, which hailed him as one of four distinguished urban mayors in America. By curbing state spending, implementing a series of government reforms, and balancing the budget, then-Governor Voinovich held Ohio’s budgetary growth to its lowest rate in 30 years while pushing for economic development plans and tax incentives that helped Site Selection and Industrial Development magazine rank Ohio as number one in the nation for new facilities, expanded facilities, and new manufacturing plants three times during his tenure. He is the only person to have served as both Chairman of the National Governors Association and President of the National League of Cities.
As a United States Senator, Voinovich focused on four major areas: assuring fiscal responsibility, strengthening national security, enhancing American competitiveness, and improving the management, efficiency, and effectiveness of the federal government. He came to be known as a “Debt Hawk” for his sustained leadership on improving fiscal discipline. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he was actively involved in foreign policy development in many critical areas, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, the Balkans, NATO expansion, and former Captive Nations in Eastern Europe. He repeatedly called for policies that would harmonize our economic, energy, environmental, and national security needs. In addition, the most significant reforms to the federal civil service in more than three decades were enacted under his leadership. Since retiring in January 2011, Voinovich has been named a Senior Fellow at Cleveland State University, and Ohio Visiting Professor of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. He remains committed to and involved with the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University.