Gary Herbert Headshot

Following his years as an elected official at the state and local level, former governor Gary Herbert is partnering with Utah Valley University to create Utah’s newest public policy institute. The Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy at UVU. The Institute aspires to be a voice for sound political thought, a facilitator of converging views and an educator of the next generation of public policy leaders.

The Governor returned to Utah Valley University’s faculty in January of 2021 to be lecturer and resource to the University.  Before serving in public office, Governor Herbert taught real estate classes in the Woodbury School of Business in the 1980’s. 

As Utah’s 17th Governor, Gary R. Herbert led Utah’s recovery from the Great Recession to a position of national economic prominence. His unwavering focus on economic development included attracting businesses and investment to the state while helping homegrown businesses flourish.

The Governor’s focus was on four cornerstones to strengthen Utah’s economy: education, jobs, energy, and self-determination. As a result, Utah has become a premier destination for business, with an unsurpassed quality of life.

As Governor, he served as the Chair of the Western Governors Association and the Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA). His focus as the leader of the nation’s governors was to make the relationship between states and the federal government more collaborative, highlight state solutions and share best practices between states. The governor believes real solutions are found in the states, the real innovators, and laboratories of democracy.

Governor Herbert took the Oath of Office on August 11, 2009. Prior to becoming the state’s chief executive, Governor Herbert served for four and a half years as Lieutenant Governor. 

A successful realtor and businessman, the governor saw firsthand how decisions made by public officials can impact private enterprise. He decided to make a difference and served as a Utah County Commissioner for over 14-years, where he gained invaluable experience that benefited his decisions as governor. 

Governor Herbert was born and raised in Utah County. He attended Utah Technical College as a concurrent enrollment student and Brigham Young University.

Governor Herbert and his wife, Jeanette, are the proud parents of six children and 17 grandchildren.

Justin Jones

Justin D. Jones

Executive Director

Justin Jones was appointed Executive Director of the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy on Aug. 1, 2021. As the director he is responsible for the operational, financial, programmatic, fundraising and personnel activities of the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy. He works to achieve several important Institute initiatives, including mission fulfillment, and outreach with educational and business partners.

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PROFESSIONAL 
Justin Jones was appointed Executive Director of the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy on Aug. 1, 2021. As the executive director he is responsible for the operational, financial, programmatic, fundraising and personnel activities of the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy. He works to achieve several important Institute initiatives, including mission fulfillment, and outreach with educational and business partners.

Prior to this appointment, he worked as the Senior Director of Donor Relations and Annual Giving from Nov. 2019 to Jul. 2021. He served as the Chief of Staff to two Presidents of UVU, starting in August 2016. His most recent work included directing the successful leadership transition from outgoing President Matthew S. Holland and welcoming UVU’s seventh President, Astrid S. Tuminez.

Before joining UVU, Jones worked as the Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for the Salt Lake Chamber. His primary role was to advocate for and negotiate business friendly policies focused on education, healthcare, water, and other interests with the Utah Legislature and with Utah’s Congressional delegation. 


Prior to the Chamber, he directed all strategic public relations, social media, internal communications, and marketing efforts for Rio Tinto Kennecott. He lead the crisis communications efforts during the catastrophic collapse of the Bingham Canyon Mine wall. 

His previous work includes working as the senior advisor to the president, government relations director, and spokesperson for the Utah Transit Authority. He worked as the communications advisor for the Utah County Health department, and a grants specialist during the administrations of Governor Michael O. Leavitt and Governor Olene Walker.

EDUCATION

  • M.S., Intermodal Transportation Management – University of Denver
  • B.S., Business Administration – Utah Valley University
  •  A.S., Communications – BYU Idaho

PERSONAL
Justin is married with four children, two of whom are Wolverines. They live in American Fork, UT where he enjoys working in the garden, hiking in the mountains, and spending time with family. Born in Rapid City, South Dakota, he, and his family make annual pilgrimages to enjoy family while boating and other out-door activities in the beautiful Black Hills.