Back to former Utah governors
Jon Huntsman

Gov. Jon Huntsman

  • January 3, 2005 - August 10, 2009
  • Republican
  • March 26, 1960
  • California
  • University of Utah; University of Pennsylvania
  • Married Mary Kaye Huntsman; seven children
  • Ambassador


JON HUNTSMAN, JR. was born on March 26, 1960 in Palo Alto, California. He attended the University of Utah and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

As a business executive, he was chairman of Huntsman Corporation, a multi-national petrochemical corporation based in Salt Lake City, and served as the first president and CEO of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation at the University of Utah. His public service career includes serving as a White House staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan. Under President George H.W. Bush, he was deputy assistant of commerce for trade development, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, as well as U.S. ambassador to Singapore (the youngest U.S. ambassador in a century). He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He also served as a deputy U.S. trade representative and U.S. trade ambassador under President George W. Bush.

Huntsman was elected governor in 2004 and was re-elected to a second term in November 2008 with a record percent of the voters.

During Huntsman’s tenure, Utah was recognized for its dynamism, business climate and quality of life and named by the Pew Center as the Best Managed State in America. Huntsman concentrated on raising teacher compensation while increasing student access to all-day kindergarten, early childhood literacy programs and core math and science programs. Huntsman also called on the health care industry to reform a broken health care system so that every Utahn would have access to affordable, portable health insurance.

On August 7, 2009 Huntsman was confirmed to serve as the U.S Ambassador to China.

He and his wife, Mary Kaye, have seven children, including two adopted daughters from China and India.

Recent Utah Governors