Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was officially elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association Thursday during its annual meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“All across America, Republican governors are doing what Washington can't: getting the big things done to move our country forward,”  Christie said during an appearance in Scottsdale. “We’re leading with conviction, making tough decisions and getting the job done in our states. I’m honored to serve as Chairman of the RGA at this important time, and will work tirelessly over the next year to provide our governors and candidates with the resources they need to win.”

The new position will give Christie an opportunity the hobnob with high-dollar donors, and to travel around the country laying groundwork for a possible presidential bid; former Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have used the RGA as national springboards in the past.

Christie takes the reins from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another Republican with national ambitions. RGA Executive Director Phil Cox said, “Governor Christie is one of our Party’s strongest, most effective leaders,” according to a statement released by the RGA.  “In a critical year with 36 governor’s races, Republican governors welcome his leadership as Chairman of the RGA, and recognize that his record of accomplishment, broad political appeal, and tireless work ethic will be a tremendous asset in helping to win elections and advancing a message of growth, reform, and results.”