Joseph "Gray" Davis offers a combination of experience, insight and perspective following a long and distinguished career in California government. He is a trusted advisor to his clients, including companies, nonprofits, research institutes and universities as well as primary and secondary schools. He provides a strategic approach to solving complex issues given the extensive knowledge he has gained over his 30 plus years of public service.
In late 2023, in recognition of his commitment to education and innovation, Governor Davis received the UC President’s Medal – the University of California’s highest honor, from the UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D. Governor Davis served on Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ transition team from December, 2022 through April, 2023. Governor Davis has been interviewed by numerous media publications – including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Politico, NPR, CNN, Newsweek and Bloomberg – as a well-respected thought leader on California and federal politics.
Governor Davis was overwhelmingly elected the 37th governor of California in 1998, winning 58 percent of the vote. As Governor, he made education a top priority, signing legislation to strengthen California's K-12 system, increasing accountability in schools, and expanding access to higher education with a record number of scholarships and college loans. These reforms improved student achievement scores for six consecutive years.
While presiding over California during an economic expansion, Governor Davis made record investments in infrastructure, created four Centers of Science and Innovation on UC campuses, and expanded state health insurance for an additional one million children. He also was the first Governor in the nation to authorize stem cell research. As Governor, he demonstrated bold environmental leadership by signing the first law in the nation to reduce global warming and greenhouse gases. He also created the first Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Registry, and was the first to establish the nation's most ambitious commitment to renewable energy by creating the statewide Renewables Portfolio Standard. Despite a wave of Republican victories across the nation in 2002, Governor Davis was re-elected to a second term.
To view an archive of his gubernatorial accomplishments, please visit the Governor Gray Davis’ Digital Library Web site at www.gray-davis.com.
In 2020, Governor Davis served on Governor Newsom’s Economic Task Force for Re-Opening the Economy. Governor Davis along with Governor Schwarzenegger and Governor Wilson serve on the Southern California Leadership Council. Governor Davis is the 2022 co-chair. Governor Davis is a regular lecturer at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, including serving as the closing speaker for the 2022 Luskin Research in Action Summit. He was a featured speaker at the 2022 USC Gould School of Law Real Estate Law and Business forum. Governor Schwarzenegger and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute recently honored Governor Davis by celebrating the 20th anniversary of his signing of AB 1493, landmark environmental legislation that led to improved fuel economy standards in cars and passenger trucks nationally.
Additionally, Governor Davis served as a member of the bi-partisan Think Long Committee along with Governors Brown and Schwarzenegger. He also speaks before a number of civic and government organizations, on important issues of the day. Governor Davis served on the Independent Oversight Committee, alongside Former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, and Former Small Business Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, overseeing the non-adversarial claims administration and settlements for victim/survivors of childhood clergy sexual abuse. Governor Davis was also proud to be the Keynote Speaker at the Columbia Law School Graduation Ceremony in May of 2009.
Prior to being elected as governor, he served as chief of staff to Governor Jerry Brown, assembly member from the 43rd district of California, lieutenant governor, and state controller.
Governor Davis was awarded the Bronze Star as a U.S. Army Captain for his service during the Vietnam War for meritorious service.
Media inquiries for Gov. Davis (Ret.) should be directed to:
Loeb & Loeb LLP
- Columbia Law School, J.D.
- Stanford University, A.B., With Distinction
- Named among "Most Influential People in Los Angeles," Los Angeles Business Journal LA 500 (2018)
Distinguished Policy Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs
- Served on Governor Newsom’s Economic Recovery Task Force (2020)
- Serving as co-chair of the Southern California Leadership Council (Kaiser Permanente, Cedar Sinai, and LA Care, among other leading Southern California businesses)
- Serving on UCLA Healthcare Advisory Board
- Member, Southern California Leadership Council