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Jeff Colyer

Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D.Politician, doctor, fifth generation Kansan. Born: June 3, 1960, Hays, Ellis County, Kansas. Married: Ruth Gutierrez, 1991.  Served as 49th Lieutenant Governor of Kansas, January 10, 2011, to January 31, 2018. Served as 47th Governor of Kansas: January 31, 2018, to January 14, 2019.

Jeffrey William Colyer was born in Hays to James Daniel and Lorene Colyer, on June 3, 1960. He attended Thomas More Prep in Hays. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Georgetown University in 1981; master’s degree in international relations from Clare Hall, Cambridge, in 1982; and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Kansas in 1986. From 1986 to 1994 he completed residency training at Washington Hospital Center, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the International Craniofacial Institute in Dallas, Texas.

He married Ruth Gutierrez in 1991; they have three daughters.

In 1994 Dr. Colyer opened practices as a plastic surgeon Johnson County and Kansas City, Missouri. He has volunteered, as a surgeon, in war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans, Libya, and Africa. He served as an International Medical Corps volunteer and was the only surgeon in southern Rwanda during the genocide that killed 800,000 people.

Colyer served as a White House Fellow in international affairs under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2006, where he served one term, then to the Kansas State Senate in 2008. He was Sam Brownback’s running mate in the 2010 gubernatorial election. Since 2011 he has served as Kansas’ 49th lieutenant governor. He became the 47th Governor of Kansas in 2018, when Brownback was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as U. S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and completed the remainder of the term.

Entry: Colyer, Jeff

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: September 2017

Date Modified: January 2019

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.