OLENE SMITH WALKER was born in Ogden, Utah. She received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Brigham Young University, Stanford University, and the University of Utah, respectively. While serving as Utah’s first woman lieutenant governor, Walker spearheaded many important initiatives, including education programs, budget security measures, health care reform, and workforce development. She led the Healthcare Reform Task Force that resulted in establishing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), ensuring affordable healthcare for Utah’s children. She also served as chair of the Workforce Task Force, resulting in the development of the Department of Workforce Services. She was chair of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors and president of the National Association of Secretaries of State—the first lieutenant governor ever to serve as president of that organization. Walker was a leader as well in the Utah House of Representatives, where she served as majority whip. Sworn in as Utah’s first woman governor in November, 2003, she led the state toward improvements in literacy and education.
Who’s Who in America, 2005. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who’s Who, 2004.