Markell, a Democrat, was named chairman Sunday morning at the close of NGA's annual meeting. He succeeds Republican Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. Republican Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin was selected as vice chair.
Markell's initiative for his yearlong term as chairman will be to improve job opportunities for people with disabilities. Specifically, he hopes to facilitate jobs for people with intellectual disabilities, both in state government and the private sector. He plans to bring together governors with business leaders and leaders from the disabled community to share ideas and develop policies.
Markell says in a statement that there are many disabled people "who have the time, talent and desire to make meaningful contributions to interested employers."
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie declined an opportunity to take over as vice chairman of the NGA.