James H. Douglas (born June 21, 1951) is an American politician from the U.S. state of Vermont. Douglas is a Republican and currently serving his fourth 2-year term as the Governor of Vermont. On August 27, 2009, Douglas announced that he will not seek re-election for a fifth term in 2010.
Douglas was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, where he had been active in the College Republicans. At Middlebury College, Douglas was a Russian Studies major, and still speaks Russian, even using these skills to enhance the sister-state relationship between Vermont and Karelia, Russia that has existed since 1991
In November 1972, Douglas was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives, where he became the House Majority Leader during his third two-year term at the age of 25. He left the Vermont General Assembly in 1979, afterwards serving as a top aide to Governor Richard A. Snelling. Douglas was elected Secretary of State in November 1980, a post which he held until 1992. That year he sought election to the U.S. Senate, but was defeated by Democratic incumbent Patrick Leahy. In November 1994 he was elected State Treasurer, after receiving the endorsement of both major parties.