Chris Sununu has served as the Republican governor of New Hampshire since 2017, and won his fourth term in 2022 with 57% of the vote.
Since the governor had not taken a public position on ESG investing prior to 2023, his recent moves to do so may be related to positioning for his possible bid for president.
In January 2023, Sununu criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)—who is also jockeying for a possible presidential bid in 2024—for his attacks on so-called “woke” companies, telling Fox News that while he agrees with the “need to push back on woke policy,” he does not think it makes sense to “punish private businesses because they don’t agree with a policy or whatever it might be. Those types of culture wars pushing their way into the private sector, that’s definitely not… where we want to be as Americans.”
In March 2023, Sununu joined 17 other Republican governors in signing a letter denouncing ESG as “woke ideology” and vowing to prevent state pension fund managers from making ESG investments. In April, the governor issued a relatively toothless executive order in which he discouraged New Hampshire’s executive agencies from making investments based solely on ESG criteria and instead encouraged that they hew more closely to “fiduciary duty.”
Prior to being elected governor in 2016, Sununu served on the New Hampshire Executive Council (2011–17) and worked as the chief executive at a ski resort. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from MIT, and previously worked in environmental remediation.
- Delivered the keynote at the State Financial Officers Foundation 2023 Spring National Meeting (4/25/23)
- Issued an executive order discouraging the New Hampshire’s executive agencies from making investments that are based solely on ESG criteria (4/10/23)
- Signed a letter with other GOP governors denouncing ESG as “woke ideology” and vowing to prevent state pension fund managers from making ESG investments (3/16/23)