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Bob Holden

Former Governor of Missouri


Bob Holden served as Missouri’s 53rd governor from 2001 to 2005. Prior to being elected governor, he served two terms as Missouri state treasurer and three terms as a Missouri state representative.  

Governor Holden has been in public service his entire adult life. In addition to holding elected office, he worked for State Treasurers James I. Spainhower and Mel Carnahan, United States Senator Thomas F. Eagleton and Congressman Richard A. Gephardt.  

During Governor Holden’s term in office, he chaired the Midwestern 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 over 200 African-Americans to prominent leadership roles; established the state’s first Youth Cabinet; and built the first LEED certified state office building in Missouri.  

Governor Holden is currently the Missouri co-chair for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition and is an Executive Board member of the Missouri state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). After leaving office in 2005, Governor Holden founded the Holden Public Policy Forum and was a professor at Webster University for 10 years. While at Webster University, he helped bring the first Confucius Institute to Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.  

Governor Holden believes that long-term economic success for the United States and China must be built on mutual respect, clear understandings and honest dialogue. This can be achieved by expanding our cultural ties, creating more educational partnerships and creating bridges of opportunities for successful business in both countries.