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Greg Hager grew up on a farm in Kentucky, learning the value of work and an appreciation for agricultural policy. Thinking that he wanted to be a lawyer, he majored in political science and earned his bachelor’s degree at UK. Hager discovered that he was more interested in public finance and administration than law. He was admitted to the Martin School in 1983, receiving his master’s degree in public administration in 1985.

Hager eventually entered the political science doctoral program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1995. He then became an assistant professor of political science at UK, with a joint appointment in the Martin School until 2000, when he began working for the Kentucky General Assembly. Since 2002, Hager has been the staff administrator for its Program Review and Investigations Committee, where he researches how state programs work and how they could be improved.

He and his wife, Teresa, live in Versailles.