• 1986: The Governor's Distinguished Management Leadership Award was created to formally recognize state government managers who demonstrate outstanding management excellence in the performance of their responsibilities as members of the state management team.
  • 1991: Former Gov. Booth Gardner signed Executive Order 91-08 to institutionalize this award program. The Governor's Distinguished Manager's Association (GDMA) was created. The Association provides its members with a forum to collectively exchange ideas and experiences to further improve public service and the professional development of each member.
  • 1992: A new award category: "Sustaining Leader" was created to recognize managers that demonstrate sustained outstanding leadership over a period of years.
  • 2006: Gov. Chris Gregoire reviewed the program and made some changes. Instead of two awards, she instituted one: the Leadership in Management Award.
  • 2013: Gov. Inslee reaffirmed the importance of the Leadership in Management Award and updated the criteria with a focus on Lean continuous improvement principles. A website was also created for GDMA along with updating the charter.
  • 2018: Gov. Inslee upheld the tradition of seeking nominations for top performing state managers by integrating the recently adopted state leadership competencies with a priority on cultivating inclusive work environments.

Recipients & membership

  • Recipients of these prestigious awards include many of the most influential and respected leaders in state government.
  • GDMA membership is open to recipients of the above mentioned awards. Meetings are held September - May, with our annual reception in June/July.The program focuses on public policy and leadership, as well as key issues and trends in government.
  • GDMA Officers consist of Chair, Chair Elect, Chair Emeritus and Secretary/Treasurer. Terms of office are for one year and commence at the GDMA meeting following the election.