The official site for My Lifetime Commitment
Lifetime's Remarkable Women campaign honors extraordinary women who inspire and empower others to make a difference in their communities and the world.
October 29: Bev Perdue
Bev Perdue: Governor of North Carolina
Bev Perdue grew up in the coal mining mountains of Virginia, and after working as a public school teacher, Bev served as a state senator and lieutenant governor before her election in 2008 as the first female governor of North Carolina. A champion for women’s causes, this month she is hosting the North Carolina Governor’s Conference for Women.

Governor Bev Perdue In January 2009, Bev Perdue was inaugurated as the 73rd Governor of North Carolina and the state’s first woman governor. On Governor Perdue’s first day in office, she signed a series of executive orders designed to make government more efficient, more accessible and more accountable to the people.

Before entering public service, Perdue worked as a public school teacher and as director of geriatric services at a community hospital in her hometown of New Bern, and earned a Ph.D. in Education Administration. Governor Perdue has also served in the State House, State Senate and as lieutenant governor for eight years.

As a state legislator, Perdue was part of several landmark initiatives, including raising teacher salaries from 43rd to 21st in the nation, starting the Children’s Health Insurance Program and creating the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

As lieutenant governor, Perdue led her state’s efforts during the Defense Department’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, successfully protecting North Carolina’s military bases, worth $18 billion and 350,000 jobs to the state’s economy. Building on that success, Perdue launched the NC Military Foundation to attract 21st-century defense, aerospace and homeland security jobs to North Carolina.

She also created the Green Business Fund to make environmental innovation investments in alternative fuels, green construction and other clean energy technologies — positioning North Carolina to become a national leader in environmental technology and in high-wage green-collar jobs. As chair of the Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission, Perdue helped create Senior Care, a prescription drug program for low-income seniors called the best in the nation by NC AARP. And under Perdue’s leadership, the state targeted teen tobacco use for the first time — an effort that resulted in all 115 school systems becoming 100 percent tobacco free.

Drawing on her experience as a former teacher, Bev Perdue is working to transform North Carolina classrooms into 21st-century learning centers through increased technology in the classroom and a statewide online school initiative, steps critical to preparing students to enter the global workforce. She understands clearly that the success of North Carolina’s education system will define its economic future as a state; that’s why she is committed to attracting and retaining the best teachers in America. Perdue grew up in the coal mining mountains of southwest Virginia and has lived most of her adult life in New Bern. Her parents never finished high school, but always preached education and hard work as the path to success — and those are the values that continue to drive her today. Bev Perdue is married to Bob Eaves and is the proud mother of son Garrett and his wife April, and son Emmett and his wife Sara. Bob is the proud father of daughter Charlotte and her husband Doug, and son Robert and his wife Michelle. They have six grandchildren: Bennett, Jake, Rachel, Sarah, Amelia and Haddie. Bev and Bob also share their home with two dogs, Dosie and Zipper.