Governor Eric Holcomb
51st Governor of Indiana
Hoosier politician with a mission to “take Indiana to the World and the World to Indiana.”
In May 2022, Governor Eric J. Holcomb convened the inaugural Indiana Global Economic Summit. Just days before the Indy 500, Governor Holcomb and Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers welcomed more than 800 leaders from 24 countries, inviting them to partner on global economic issues. This event was an unprecedented opportunity for the State of Indiana—and just one of many milestones in the Governor’s long list of international accomplishments.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Governor Eric J. Holcomb is a tried-and-true Hoosier. Holcomb graduated from Pike High School and attended Hanover College in Southern Indiana. Upon graduation, he served in the United States Navy for six years. It was during his years of service that he first ventured abroad, stationed as an intelligence officer in Lisbon, Portugal.
After his time in the Navy, Holcomb returned to Indiana to start his career in politics. He began working for U.S. Representative John Hostettler in 1997 and quickly started climbing the ladder. Over the next two decades, Holcomb would serve under prominent Indiana politicians, such as Governor Mitch Daniels and U.S. Senator Dan Coats—both recipients of the International Citizen of the Year Award.
Holcomb then succeeded Sue Ellspermann as Lieutenant Governor, joining Mike Pence as his running mate for Indiana Governor. When Pence became Vice President in 2017, Holcomb ran for Governor himself and won the election in a landmark 106-day campaign.
From the beginning, Governor Holcomb made it a priority to “take Indiana to the world—and the world to Indiana.” He made history as the first incumbent Indiana Governor to lead trade missions to Hungary and India, and he’s worked diligently to build formal partnerships with Japan, Ontario, and Slovakia. During his tenure, Governor Holcomb has led over 14 international trips, visiting more than 20 nations to meet with foreign dignitaries and officials.
“I don’t want to rule any area out,” said Holcomb. “Because if Peru wants to buy Indiana corn, I’ll bicycle to Peru. I would get there to sell Indiana—anywhere in the world.”
Governor Holcomb has also made an intentional effort to represent Indiana on the global stage. In addition to the Global Economic Summit, Holcomb delivered a keynote address at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. He was invited to attend the annual World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland—and he even signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Kingdom, the first-ever state-level agreement to be signed by the UK.
Since assuming office in 2017, Governor Holcomb has led Indiana to six consecutive record-breaking years of economic development. In 2022 alone, 218 companies committed to locating or expanding their operations in Indiana, investing more than $22.2 billion in new capital.
“We can grow our market share. We can—not just compete—but win,” said Holcomb. “It makes a lot of sense for companies to invest in the middle of America. If I can get them to focus on Indiana…[the impact] will long outlive me or any one or two governors.”
In 2018, The International Center presented Governor Holcomb with the International Citizen of the Year Award for his service. As a longtime partner and friend of The International Center, Holcomb truly understands the importance of advancing Indiana’s globalization efforts.
“Indiana is open for business! We are in this for the long haul—long beyond any term of office,” said Holcomb in his acceptance speech. “We aren’t passive participants in this world. What happens here on Hoosier soil affects what goes on all over the world… and we have so much to offer.”