Meet Colin Van Ostern

Photo of Van Ostern FamilyColin Van Ostern is a New Hampshire dad, business leader, and Executive Councilor running for Governor to keep New Hampshire moving forward.

Colin knows from his own life that New Hampshire is the best place in the country to live, work, raise a family and grow a business.  And he knows that working together, we can tackle the challenges and opportunities our state faces and build a stronger economy that gives every citizen the opportunity to succeed — not just those at the top.

Executive Councilor moving NH forward

In 2012, Colin was publicly elected to the state Executive Council, a board of directors of sorts for the state’s executive branch, where he represents a quarter-million New Hampshire citizens and is a member of the Democratic party working with Governor Maggie Hassan.

Colin Van Ostern with Governor Maggie HassanOn the Executive Council, Van Ostern cast the deciding vote to expand Medicaid health coverage to nearly 50 thousand Granite Staters, and as governor he’ll work to make the program permanent.

Colin stood up to Republicans and led the successful fight on the Executive Council to restore funding for birth control and cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood — and was named the state “Champion for Choice” by NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire in 2015.

Van Ostern is a strong advocate for clean solar and renewable energy projects that are critical for boosting our clean tech economy, limiting energy costs, protecting our environment, and creating thousands of jobs. That’s why he worked successfully to bring new solar and renewable energy projects to Manchester, Portsmouth, Durham, Milton, Plymouth, Peterborough, and Berlin.

New Hampshire business leader

stonyfieldProfessionally, Colin has worked as a New Hampshire business leader for the past decade — where he has helped great employers create hundreds of new jobs and has been named one of the state’s most influential citizens by Business NH magazine.

As a business manager at Stonyfield Inc., Colin managed brands worth $100 million in annual revenue to world’s largest organic yogurt-maker, driving profitable growth. Previously, he ran a small consulting business helping dozens of nonprofits and local small businesses grow and strengthen our community; he led business trips to India and Belgium on behalf of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth; and he has been actively engaged in New Hampshire’s startup ecosystem.


Education innovator & anti–student debt champion

headshotVan Ostern believes we cannot have the highest levels of student debt and the highest college costs in the country. He’s worked in his business career to make college affordable for everyone, and he’ll champion the goal of debt-free college education as Governor.

In 2013,  Colin helped launch College for America at Southern New Hampshire University — a nonprofit, fully-accredited college that helps frontline, working adults achieve a college education with little or no debt. The school has enrolled thousands of students — the vast majority taking on zero debt at all — and has partnered with more than 100 employers ranging from local nonprofits to Fortune 50 companies to strengthen their workforce.

Father & community leader

day1Colin lives in Concord, NH with his wife Kristyn and two sons, Peter and Patrick, and he is active in the community. Colin is a leader in the statewide effort to strengthen the state’s workforce by bringing and keeping more young workers in New Hampshire, including through nonprofits such as Stay, Work, Play and Alphaloft, a startup incubator and accelerator. Colin earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BA from The George Washington University, majoring in International Affairs with a concentration in national security policy and in Political Science.

Raised by a single mom, when Colin moved to New Hampshire for a job as a young man in his 20s, it was the 18th house he moved into. In our special state, he quickly put down roots, volunteered in his community, fell in love with a New Hampshire girl, and has spent the past fifteen years raising a family and growing great New Hampshire businesses. His life and professional experiences in New Hampshire are what power his passion for bringing and keeping more young people, young families, new businesses and startups in our state.

Some of Colin’s past writing on state and community issues:

Click here for a high-resolution headshot image of Colin.


Paid for by Van Ostern for New Hampshire. Debby Butler, Treasurer.
P.O. Box 3931, Manchester, NH 03105 • (603) 232-5538