Kay Ellen Ivey (born October 15, 1944) is an American politician serving as the 54th and current governor of Alabama since 2017. She is a member of the Republican Party.
Born in Camden, Alabama, Ivey grew up working on her father's farm. She graduated from Auburn University before moving to Sacramento, California, becoming a high school teacher for several years. Ivey returned to Alabama and landed a position with Merchants National Bank, where she launched a school relations program to promote financial literacy. In 1979, she was appointed by then-Governor Fob James to serve in the state cabinet. She later served as the reading clerk of the Alabama House of Representatives between 1980 and 1982 and served as Assistant Director of the Alabama Development Office between 1982 and 1985. Ivey was Director of Government Affairs and Communications for the Alabama Commission on Higher Education from 1985 until 1998.
Switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in 2002, Ivey ran successfully for the Office of the State Treasurer and served two four-year terms. Under the Alabama Constitution, Ivey was not eligible to seek reelection to a third term as state treasurer in 2010. After briefly mounting a campaign for Governor, Ivey instead qualified to run for lieutenant governor. In the November 2010 elections, in a Republican sweep of statewide offices, Ivey defeated Democratic incumbent Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom Jr., who had sought an unprecedented fourth term. She was overwhelmingly reelected in 2014.
Ivey became Alabama's second female governor and first female Republican governor upon the resignation of her predecessor, Robert J. Bentley in April 2017. She won a full term in the 2018 gubernatorial election by a wide margin against challenger Walt Maddox. At age 76, Ivey is the oldest governor in the United States as of 2021.