Sarah Palin first made history on December 4, 2006 when she was sworn in as the first female governor of Alaska. In August 2008, Senator John McCain tapped Palin to serve as his vice-presidential running mate in his presidential campaign, making her the first woman to run on the Republican Party's presidential ticket.
In Alaska, her top priorities included fiscal restraint, limiting the size of government, resource development, education, equitable oil valuation as well as transportation and infrastructure development. Palin fought for ethics reform and transparency in government.
Palin has a long record of achievement and experience in public office. Prior to her election as Governor, Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council and two terms as the mayor of Wasilla. During her tenure, she reduced property tax levels while increasing services and made Wasilla a business-friendly environment, drawing in new industry.
Under her leadership as Governor, Alaska invested $5 billion in state savings, overhauled education funding and protected Alaska's natural resources. She created Alaska's Petroleum Systems Integrity Office to provide oversight and maintenance of oil and gas equipment, facilities and infrastructure and the Climate Change Subcabinet to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.
During Governor Palin's first year in office, three of her administration's major proposed pieces of legislation passed—an overhaul of the state's ethics laws, a competitive process to construct a natural gas pipeline and a restructuring of Alaska's oil valuation formula.
Palin is past chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multistate government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. She also served as chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which was charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management.
Sarah Heath Palin arrived in Alaska with her family in 1964, when her parents came to teach school in Skagway. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications-Journalism from the University of Idaho in 1987.
She is married to Todd Palin, who is a lifelong Alaskan, worked as a production operator on the North Slope and is a four-time champion of the Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmachine race. They have five children.
Palin was named to TIME magazine’s 2010 "100 Most Influential People" list and to Forbes magazine’s 2011 “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list and was the host of Sarah Palin’s Alaska on TLC.
She is the author of two New York Times best-selling books, Going Rogue: An American Life (November 2009) and America by Heart (November 2010). Her new book, A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas, will be released November, 2013.