News Release

Jon Huntsman, Former Governor of Utah and Ambassador to China, Joins Brookings as Distinguished Fellow

June 20, 2012

Governor Jon Huntsman, former ambassador to China and Singapore and governor of Utah, has agreed to affiliate with the Brookings Institution as a distinguished fellow, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Huntsman, who has served in the administrations of four U.S. presidents and is currently the chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, will participate in a wide range of events and research projects at Brookings.

“We are delighted that Governor Huntsman has agreed to join Brookings,” said Talbott. “As we try to address America’s domestic and foreign policy challenges, Jon’s extraordinary government service at home and abroad will be a great benefit to the Institution.”

In 2004, Huntsman was elected governor of Utah where he served for five years and led the state as first in the nation in job growth. As governor in the midst of an economic recession, Huntsman oversaw major tax and health care reforms and also focused on improving public education. At the end of his tenure, Huntsman left office with approval ratings over 80 percent, and under his tenure Utah was named “Best Managed State in America” by the Pew Center on the States.

“Governor Huntsman will be an outstanding addition,” said John L. Thornton, chairman of the Brookings Board of Trustees. “His diplomatic service in China will further deepen Brookings’s strong bench of policy experts on Asia, and his rich domestic policy experience will add another dimension. We look forward to calling on his expertise.”

Following his service as governor, Huntsman was appointed by President Obama as ambassador to China in 2009 and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Huntsman’s diplomatic finesse and strong advocacy for U.S. interests abroad strengthened the U.S. relationship with China.

Huntsman’s political career began in 1987 when he served as a White House staff assistant in the Reagan administration. Under President George H. W. Bush, he served as deputy assistant secretary for trade development and commerce for East Asian and Pacific affairs until he was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Singapore in 1992. From 1993 to 2001 Huntsman worked in the private sector as an executive for the Huntsman Corporation and later served as a deputy U.S. trade representative and U.S. trade ambassador under President George W. Bush.

He is a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania and has seven honorary degrees.

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