Executive Branch


The Governor is the highest elected office in Kentucky and serves as the chief administrator of the Commonwealth. In addition to other powers and duties, the Governor acts as Commander-in-Chief of all state military forces, makes appointments for vacancies to executive offices and memberships on boards and commissions authorized by statute, and has the power to grant pardons and ​commutations.

​Governor's Executive Cabinet

  • The Secretary of the Governor's Executive Cabinet is the highest appointed position in the executive branch. The governor’s executive cabinet is comprised of the secretary of the executive cabinet and Kentucky's eleven cabinet secretaries and is responsible for implementing the Governor's policies and advising the Governor on the policy matters affecting the Commonwealth.

  • The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet combines Kentucky's assets ​in parks, tourism, cultural heritage, and the arts to effectively promote and market these assets.

  • The Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and investment in the state.

  • The Education and Workforce Development Cabinet provides life-long learning opportunities for all Kentuckians. Through a system of excellent public schools and postsecondary institutions, high quality libraries, nationally recognized public television, and innovative workforce training, the Cabinet's agencies prepare our citizens for success and our Commonwealth for economic growth.​

  • The Energy and Environment Cabinet has the role of overseeing how the Commonwealth addresses the energy needs of our citizens. The Cabinet is also responsible for the protection of the Commonwealth's environment and natural resources.​

  • The Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet is responsible for the construction of state facilities, property management, expenditure control, state purchasing and postal and printing services.​

  • The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is the state government agency responsible for the human services and health care programs for Kentucky's families.

  • The Justice and Public Safety Cabinet is the state entity responsible for criminal justice services. This encompasses law enforcement and training; adult and juvenile treatment and incarceration; autopsies, death certifications and toxicology analyses; special investigations; paroling of eligible convicted felons; administration of federal grants for criminal justice programs; and long range planning and recommendations on statewide criminal justice reform issues.​

  • The Labor Cabinet's goal is to create workplace environments that are safe and free of conflict, where all workers are properly trained and receive fair pay and benefits for a quality standard of living.​

  • The Personnel Cabinet serves as a strategic partner to state agencies by encouraging thoughtful talent acquisition and management practices, promoting individual and organizational development, fostering a culture of recognition, and offering innovative educational experiences, for the employees of this Commonwealth.​

  • The Public Protection ​Cabinet is responsible for monitoring and regulating a number of activities that impact nearly every Kentuckian – the financial soundness of our state-chartered banks and investment companies; thoroughbred and standard bred horse racing; operations of all types of insurance companies; various forms of charitable gaming; appeals of a property tax assessments; building permits and fire safety inspections and crime victims compensation.​

  • The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is responsible for overseeing the development and maintenance of a safe, efficient multi-modal transportation system throughout the commonwealth. The cabinet also oversees all motor vehicle and driver's licensure for more than three million drivers.​

​Cabinet Rank Members

  • The Department of Military Affairs is responsible for all military matters and disaster and emergency service coordination in the Commonwealth. The Governor is constitutional Commander-in-Chief of the Kentucky National Guard and appoints the Adjutant General. The Adjutant General commands the Kentucky National Guard and directs and coordinates all programs in the Department.​

  • The Office of the State Budget Director provides the ​Governor and the Commonwealth high-quality analysis, sound advice, objective research, and management assistance in regard to the policy, budget, and economic issues facing the Commonwealth.​​​