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Graham Anderson

Graham Anderson is working as a Page for NBC Universal in New York.  Being a Page was made famous by the current NBC hit, 30 Rock, that pokes fun at the NBC corporate culture, as famous actor Jack McBrayer portrays Kenneth the Page.  A Page’s main responsibilities include, being the “face” of the company, providing support to several news and entertainment shows (i.e. Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Morning Joe, Countdown with Keith Olberman, conducting NBC Studio Tours at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York, and working many different assignments throughout the company.  Graham will work as a Page for up to one year.  During the year, he will have the opportunity to select and work towards a department within the company that he would most like to affiliate himself permanently. Graham is a native of Utah where he completed an undergraduate degree in Mandarin Chinese.  While studying Mandarin at the U, he was recruited to work for NBC at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.  Immediately following graduation, Graham worked as a Hinckley Intern in Senator Robert Bennett’s Office in Washington D.C.  

Patrice Arent

Senator Patrice Arent was elected to the Utah Senate in 2002.  Prior to that, she served six years in the Utah House of Representatives where she was selected by her peers to serve as the Democratic Whip.  As a state legislator, Patrice has worked on a variety of issues, including healthcare, education, consumer protection, crime reduction, and ethics & election law reform.  One of her favorite constituents is Hinckley Institute’s founding director, Professor J.D. Williams, who frequently offers Patrice his savvy political advice.   

Before running for political office, Patrice was a Division Chief in the Utah Attorney General’s Office and served as Associate General Counsel to the Utah Legislature.  She also practiced law in a large private firm and completed two federal judicial clerkships.

Patrice is a frequent national speaker and consultant on legislative, campaign, governmental relations, and healthcare topics.  She has taught campaign training courses for the past eight years and has volunteered on dozens of campaigns.  In addition, she serves on many local and national boards.  Patrice is also Vice President of the National Association of Jewish Legislators.

Patrice received her undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and her J.D. from Cornell Law School.  She completed Hinckley internships for U.S. Senator Frank E. Moss and Utah Governor Scott M. Matheson.  She also hosted “Coffee and Politics” (now called the “Hinckley Forum”).  Patrice regularly returns to the University campus as a guest speaker for classes in Political Science, Communications and the Law School.  She also serves on the Advisory Board for the College of Social and Behavioral Science and the Board of Trustees of the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. 

David Baker

Former Hinckley Intern David Baker is currently employed by Google's Election Advertising Team. The Team works to aide campaigns on both sides of the political aisle, in addition to working with outside interest groups. Utilizing video, display ads, and search advertising, the Election Advertising Team helps these groups reach targeted audiences. 

Baker has been part of the Google team for nearly three years. Before then, he worked for BIPAC (Business Industry Political Action Committee), running their digital independent expenditure program for 35 races during the 2010 election cycle. 

Baker, a political science graduate, completed a Hinckley internship with FMCNA (Fresenius Medical Care NA) prior to his 2009 graduation and is currently recruiting U students and recent graduates for entry-level jobs in Washington, DC.

Greg Bell

Greg Bell was selected in August, 2009 to be the Lieutenant Governor of the state of Utah by Governor Gary R. Herbert. Prior to his confirmation on September 1st, Lieutenant Governor Bell was the Assistant Majority Whip in the Utah State Senate having served as a senator representing the 22nd District of Davis County since January, 2003.

Lt. Governor Bell was born and raised in Ogden, Utah, the son of George L. and June Bell. He is a graduate of Ogden High School and Weber State University. He received a Juris Doctorate degree from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. He served an LDS mission in Germany.

At the time of his selection, Lt. Governor Bell was an attorney with the law firm of Fabian & Clendenin specializing in real estate law. He has had extensive experience with real estate development, land use and finance.

Lt. Governor Bell is a past mayor and city councilman of Farmington. He has been the Chair of Envision Utah, an internationally acclaimed collaborative land use and transportation planning organization. He served on the boards of WSU Alumni, Wasatch Front Regional Council and the Coalition for Utah's Future. He was also chair of the Davis County Open Space Committee and President of the Farmington Bay District, BSA.

Lt. Governor Bell and his wife JoLynn currently reside in Fruit Heights, Utah. They are the parents of six children, Braden, Andrea, Ryan, Davis, Christian and Eliza. They thoroughly enjoy their 17 grandchildren. His hobbies include reading biographies, war histories and classic fiction, hiking and traveling.

Lt. Governor Bell interned for the Senate Majority Leadership in 1972.  Haven Barlow was the President and Dixie Leavitt the Majority Leader.  He said "it was an eye opening experience with exposure to practical politics in which he observed many principled people." 

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Emily Bennion

Emily participated in the Hinckley Institute in 2003 when she interned at the Republican National Committee in Washington, DC. From there she was invited to volunteer for GOP-TV at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. Since that time, Emily has actively assisted on various campaigns and participated in the Republican National Committee's 72-Hour Deployment initiative for the 2006 elections. Upon receiving her B.S. from the University of Utah in Mass Communication, Emily returned to DC to pursue a job in public relations. Today, Emily works for the Bush Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Office of Public Affairs. As the media outreach coordinator she plans and promotes events for Secretary Alphonso Jackson. Emily attributes her experience needed to acquire such a position to her participation in the Hinckley Institute.


Jaryd Bern

As an undergraduate student at the University of Utah, Jaryd Bern completed an exciting summer internship with PAL-TECH, Inc. in Washington, DC, offered through the Hinckley Institute of Politics. During his PAL-TECH internship, Jaryd worked closely with Dr. Omar M. Kader, the company chairman, on special projects related to Middle Eastern affairs, international development, and U.S. national security policy. Upon returning to Utah, Jaryd served an internship in Congressman Jim Matheson's SLC office, an opportunity also offered through the Hinckley Institute. Upon his graduation from the University of Utah in December of 2005 with a B.A. in economics, and a B.S. in political science, with two years of Arabic language instruction and obtaining an International Relations Certificate, Jaryd was immediately hired as a full-time congressional staffer in Congressman Matheson's Salt Lake City office. While working locally for Congressman Matheson, Jaryd completed the post-graduate Conflict Resolution Certificate Program offered through the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. At the present day, Jaryd lives and works in Washington, DC, as a legislative aide for Congressman Dan Boren (D-OK), advising the congressman on foreign affiars, international trade, labor, and government reform policy. As a former Hinckley intern, Jaryd attributes much of his undergraduate growth and post-college success to the opportunities available to him through the Hinckley Institute.


Justin Brown

Justin Brown was honorably discharged from the United States Navy in June 2004. He did one deployment to Operation Southern Watch (the southern no fly zone in Iraq) and two deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Upon his return to Utah, Justin enrolled in school and balanced running Utah’s largest Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), a presidential internship at the U, and 15-21 credit hours a semester. Justin officially graduated in summer 2007 with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.S. in Sociology. He is a proud member of the U’s prestigious Beehive Honor Society and his favorite instructors are Theresa Martinez, Luke Garrott, Dan Jones, and Mark Matheson. Three years after his return from the Middle-East, Justin closed out his undergraduate career as a Hinckley Intern for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs under recently deceased Chairman Tom Lantos. Justin said “All things considered it may have been the best decision of my career. Without the Hinckley I would never have come to D.C. and eased into great positions and opportunities so easily. The Hinckley internship gave me a network and the tools necessary for success in this town.” Following Justin’s internship he accepted a staff position with the Philadelphian Admiral turned Congressman, Joe Sestak. A short time later he accepted another position with the Veterans of Foreign Wars as a veteran’s legislative advocate. Today, Justin can be found in Washington D.C. advocating on behalf of the VFW’s 2.3 million members. The majority of his time is spent in the halls of Congress, and with Governmental Departments, educating staff on veterans’ issues. In particular, Justin concentrates on issues facing service members from the post 9/11 era. Justin testified before Congress in February of this year and has submitted testimony for the record on two other occasions. The issue Justin is most directly dealing with today is advocating for an increase in educational benefits for service members, particularly the GI-Bill. Justin was recently married, and in his spare time he can be found with his lovely wife Brandi, and their beautiful daughter Isabella.


David Buhler

Dave Buhler has been involved in Utah politics and the Hinckley Institute of Politics since he was a teenager. His first experience with the Hinckley Institute came as a High School Junior, when then Director JD Williams invited a couple of dozen high school students to be high school interns. His next experience came several years later, not long before he graduated from the U with a B.S. in Political Science, when he served an internship with the 1982 re-election campaign of Senator Orrin Hatch. He went on to earn an MPA from the Marriott School of Management at BYU. In the 1980s Dave worked as a staffer for Hatch, former Governor Norm Bangerter, and was Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce (1989-1992). After eight years as a business executive, in 2000 he was appointed as Associate Commissioner for Public affairs for the Utah System of Higher Education, where part of his duties include representing Utah's ten public colleges and universities with the Utah Legislature. After being involved in campaigns as a volunteer, staff member, and campaign manager, he made his first run for office in 1991 where he came in second to Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini. In 1994 he was elected to the Utah State Senate, and in 1999 to the Salt Lake City Council, where he was re-elected in 2003. He is currently serving, for the second time, as Chair of the City Council.  Since 1900, Dave has taught as an adjunct for the Department of Political Science, team teaching Political Science. "I am a practical person, and maybe that's what I love so much about the Hinckley Institute. It combines learning with doing—doing politics, putting theory into practice. Ultimately, politics is about getting things done."

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Matt Canham

Matt Canham thought he wanted to be a journalist, but how could he 
be sure if his only experience was writing a few articles for the college 
paper. He found his answer in Washington, D.C. on a Hinckley 
Internship with ABC News-Nightline. He saw how the professionals 
covered the Columbine shooting, the Kosovo war, the Clinton 
Impeachment and he discovered that he liked it even more than he 
thought he would. Matt also decided that TV journalism was not 
for him. Nightline gave Matt a temporary job after his internship 
ended working on a primetime series that used art to explain complex 
science. Then Matt returned to the University of Utah to finish his 
political science degree. Along the way, he became editor of The Daily 
Utah Chronicle, which led to internships with the Deseret Morning 
News and after graduation, with The Salt Lake Tribune.

The Tribune offered Matt a position as a night police reporter where 
he wrote about the Elizabeth Smart abduction and the murder of Lori 
Hacking. He then transferred to the government desk where he 
covered three session of the state Legislature. Matt recently returned 
to Washington, D.C., covering federal issues for the Tribune.


Jennifer Cannaday

Jennifer Cannaday attributes her Hinckley Institute experience to starting her on the path to current career as the Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah's community and internal representative for public policy in four states, serving as Assistant Vice President over Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. She served a Hinckley internship at the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, DC. Ms. Cannaday went on to receive a law degree from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.

Dr. Tim Chambless

Dr. Chambles is a former U of U Hinckley Intern and the Hinckley Institute's former Intern Coordinator. He served political internships with the Utah State Legislature, with Utah Congressman Wayne Owens in Washington, DC, and with Ted Wilson's campaign for Mayor of Salt Lake City. He also served as a student host for "Coffee and Politics" and "Books and Banter." He remembers that his introduction into politics was quite early, before first grade, when his parents bought a television to watch the political party conventions. His mother and father watched intently, and so, he did too. Growing up, he remembers serious political conversations in the car and across the dinner table; and he remembers actually counting votes as a teenager with his father who served as a poll watcher. In high school he became actively involved in school politics and student government. Tim says that his life changed when Hinckley Institute Director J.D. Williams and Coordinator Bae Gardner encouraged him to apply for internships—first to serve with a Republican member of the Utah State Legislature, and then with a Democratic Party member of Congress in Washington, DC. Those experiences motivated him to later work on over 25 political campaigns in Utah, where he wrote his MAster's Thesis and Ph.D. Dissertation on Utahn Jack Anderson. Tim has worked in government at the City, County, State, and Federal levels. He has taught numerous political science courses at Salt Lake Community College, Weber State University, and the University of Utah, and currently directs the Hinckley Institute's Capital Encounter program. He sees government service as an honorable duty, and essential to a free society. He has served on the Board of Adjustment for Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake City Planning Commission as Vice Chair and Chair. Tim is married and the father of two children, both of whom have completed Hinckley Internships.


Brigham Daniels

While a student at the University of Utah, Brigham was actively involved with the Hinckley Institute. He completed several local political internships through the Institute. As a student, he was actively involved in politics. He worked on many political campaigns and had the opportunity to manage two legislative races one campaign season, largely made possible by a financial stipend he received through the Karen Shepherd Fund. He was also a member of the Hinckley Institute's student advisory board. With the help and opportunities of the Hinckley Institute, he secured the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Brigham ultimately earned a H.B.S. in economics in 1998 and subsequently a MPA from the University of Utah. Since graduating, Brigham went on to Stanford Law School. After his first year, he took a leave of absence to assist a coalition of environmental and other civic groups stage a legal fight over the Legacy Highway. At Stanford, he was a member of the Stanford Law Review. Since law school, he has worked as an environmental lawyer for Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City and had the privilege of serving as a law cleark for Judge B. Ted Stewart, U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. In 2005, he began a Ph.D. program at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment. His course study focuses on environmental policy and political economy. He intends to become a professor of environmental law. While he lives more than a thousand miles from the University of Utah, he still assists the Hinckley Institute in its annual effort to prepare undergraduate students to compete nationally for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship. 

Carolyn Dailey

Carolyn is a servant-leader scholar, social entrepreneur, humanitarian, wife, mother, and seasoned executive with 30 years experience in management and fundraising. During her 16 years as an executive for international humanitarian efforts, she has facilitated integrated community development programs, expeditions, and internships in 12 countries, as well as assisting partnering organizations in several other countries. During her tenure, hundreds of thousands of impoverished children and families have been blessed through sustainable projects in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Indonesia, India, Tibet, and Vietnam. She has facilitated field experiences for over 5000 expedition participants, trained expedition leaders, led expeditions, facilitated hundreds of internships, and trained hundreds of in-country field personnel. Carolyn's educational background is in Political Science, Mass Communication, and International Development. She is a national Harry S. Truman Scholar. Carolyn is grateful to the Hinckley Institute for the experiences she had as a student, from "Coffee and Politics," to serving internships and going through the Truman Scholar process. "I recognized then what a tremendous resource the Institute was, and I recognize now that it has become an even more valuable resource for students and coordinating organizations. 

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Leigh von der Esch

Leigh von der Esch was named Director of the Utah Office of Tourism in May of 2005. Prior to that appointment, von der Esch was the State Film Commissioner from 1985 to 2005. Von der Esch also had government experience as Chief Administrative Officer for the State of Utah Department of Community and Economic Development, Executive Director for the Salt Lake City Council and Legislative Assistant to a United States Congressman. Ms. von der Esch worked in the film industry as a Business Coordinator on location working on a series and also worked as Post Production Coordinator for television and features. A member of the Association of Film Commissioners International for 20 years, she served as treasurer for two 2-year terms, and was elected President of the Association of Film Commissioners International in August,1990 and served three 2-year terms. While president of the AFCI, von der Esch planned and oversaw the association’s first trade shows and conferences held out of the country; directed marketing, public relations, publications and an increase of the AFCI’s budget from $135,000 yearly to over a $1 million. Ms. von der Esch received the Crystal Vision Award, which is the highest award given by the Association of Film Commissioners International for service to the organization.  She is also a member of Women in Film, Los Angeles Chapter. Von der Esch also served as Chairman of the Sundance Film Festival Committee for 9 years. Ms. von der Esch has been a guest speaker on the creation and use of film commissions and the motion picture industry, at the Birmingham, Cartagena, Munich and Cannes Film Festivals, the Media Business School in Madrid, Spain and various cities in Brazil.  Additionally, she has spoken to members of the Director’s Guild of America in Los Angeles, members of the National Conference of State Legislators in San Diego and Salt Lake City, and the Regional Conference of National Parks Superintendents in Grand Canyon, Arizona.  Active on a national level in filming on public lands issues since 1991, von der Esch was for many years, a guest presenter on film permitting at the National Training Center for the Bureau of Land Management in Phoenix, Arizona. She has testified before both House and Senate Natural Resource Committees in Washington, DC on public lands legislation.  Von der Esch has also worked extensively with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Parks Service developing policies and procedures relating to filming. She served on the Resource Advisory Council for the Bureau of Land Management, Utah.  As Managing Director of the Utah Office of Tourism, von der Esch is a member of the National Council of State Tourism Directors and the Western States Tourism Policy Council, and the Tourism Industry Association Board. In 1998, von der Esch received the Perry D. Sorenson Communicator of the Year Award from the Public Relations Society of America, Utah Chapter.  In May, 2000, von der Esch was keynote speaker for the 50 Most Powerful Women in Utah Business luncheon. Utah Business in 2004 and 2008 recognized her as one of Utah’s 100 Most Influential People in Business and in 2005 was honored again by being named one of Utah Business’s 30 Women to Watch. Leigh has also served her community on various boards including the Utah Arts Festival Board, University of Utah Young Alumni and Alumni Board, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Artspace and the Park City Performing Arts Center Board of Directors. Currently von der Esch serves on the Utah Local First Board and Advisory Board for Utah Arts Festival. Von der Esch, an avid outdoorswoman, loves taking advantage of the great outdoor recreation in Utah. Von der Esch is a graduate with honors from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Political Science. Graduate studies include Executive Public Administration certificate from University of Colorado and mediation and alternative dispute resolution studies at Pepperdine University Law School’s, Strauss Institute for Alternative Dispute Resolution. 

Mike Gehrke

Before joining the Senate Majority Project as its Executive Director in 2005, Mike Gehrke served as the Research Director for the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and for Sen. John Kerry’s Presidential Campaign.  He was the Director of Communications Research in the Clinton White House from 1999 until January 2001 and worked in the AFL-CIO Political Department/Labor '98 program.

He has advised in various communications and research capacities, numerous non-profit groups and local and statewide campaigns in places as diverse as Louisiana, Utah, and Kentucky and advised campaign committees.

Gehrke was raised in Salt Lake City and is a 1993 graduate of the University of Utah College of Law.  As a proud Utah Democrat, he worked for Ted Wilson, Wayne Owens, Deedee Corradini and Pat Shea.  Mike served Hinckley Institute Internships at the United States Supreme Court in 1989 and for the Senate Democratic Leadership at the Utah State Legislature in 1990, receiving the Rocco Siciliano Fellowship in 1990.

Natalie Gochnour

Natalie Gochnour is the Vice President for Policy and Communications at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.  Her current work is the ongoing renewal of downtown Salt Lake City where approximately $2 billion will be spent during the next five years to revitalize the central business district.  Natalie will play a primary role in the public communications, construction mitigation and policy formation associated with this historic investment in Utah’s capital city. 

Prior to her work at the Chamber, Natalie served as a Counselor to Secretary Mike Leavitt at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Associate Administrator of Public Affairs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natalie also has served as Governor Mike Leavitt’s Deputy for Policy and Communications; Deputy Director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget; Utah State Planning Coordinator; and the Director of the Demographic and Economic Analysis section for the Utah Governor’s Office. 

Natalie has an undergraduate and graduate degree in economics from the University of Utah.  In 1982 she was a Hinckley intern for Congressman Dan Marriott.  Natalie also did a Hinckley internship with the Third District Court in Salt Lake City and hosted the Coffee and Politics Forums. When she is not working, you can find her running at her local gym or in Murray Park, on the sidelines of her two children’s soccer games, or up on the slopes skiing with her husband of 20 years.

Zach Howell

Zach Howell is a recent graduate of the University of Utah where he received his degree in Political Science.  While at the U, Zach was the State Chairman of the Utah Federation of College Republicans and later the Western Region Vice-Chair of the College Republican National Committee.  He also interned through the Hinckley Institute in 2006 when he interned for Congressman Chris Cannon and also interned in the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives in 2007.  Most recently, Zach was elected Chairman of the College Republican National Committee.  The CRNC is a Washington D.C. based organization that serves as a national umbrella group for the 50 College Republican state federations and 1800 campus chapters.  The position was previously held by politicos such as Lee Atwater and fellow Utah student and Hinckley alumnus Karl Rove.  Zach looks forward to helping the Republican Party reach out to young voters and working to make the organization stronger.

Andrew Jensen

Andrew Jensen is a policy advisor on Iran in the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes. In this role, he supports the Treasury Department’s policy function aimed at disrupting Iran's nuclear program, support for terrorism, and human rights abuses. His responsibilities include developing financial strategies to combat the proliferation threat posed by Iran and to protect the U.S. and international financial systems from abuse. Jensen joined the Treasury in 2009 and previously served as an adviser to the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence and as an economic analyst focused on illicit finance issues in the Middle East.

Jensen is a graduate of the University of Utah with a degree in political science and is currently studying business and finance at Georgetown University. He is proud to have worked closely with the Hinckley Institute of Politics during his time at the University of Utah, serving as an intern in the personal office of Chairman Tom Lantos of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2008 and in the office of Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in 2009. He also published articles on Iran's nuclear program and on transnational terrorism in the Hinckley Journal of Politics and the Hinckley Institute-sponsored G8 Summit Magazine.

Cody Johnson

Cody earned his B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Utah. During his senior year and largely through the influence of former Hinckley Institute Director Ted Wilson, Cody interned in Washington, DC, for the lobbying firm of Marcus G. Faust and upon his return was a host of the weekly Coffee and Politics series and celebrated the new millennium by participating in the inaugural Kotwara Project in India. Cody immensely enjoyed the energy and diversity on the East Coast and following graduation moved to New York City to help market an internet start up, just prior to the events of 9/11. The events of that day led him to re-evaluate where he could contribute most and shortly thereafter he moved back to Washington to work on Capitol Hill. The relationships developed from his internship landed him a job as the assistant to U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-NV), Keep our Doctors in Nevada (KODIN), a medical malpractice ballot initiative, and advised the grassroots efforts of the 2004 presidential re-election campaign of President Bush in Nevada. Since moving back to Salt Lake City, Cody frequently is called on to do domestic and international Press Advance for the White House and worked on the mayoral race of Keith Christensen. He is currently employed as a Senior Account Manager at iTransact, Inc., a local online payment processing business. 

Sanja Tatic Kelly

Sanja Tatic Kelly graduated from the University of Utah in 2001 with degrees in political science and psychology. An internship through the Hinckley Institute of Politics, coupled with her experience in Kotwara, India, played an important role in her decision to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. Inspired and motivated, Sanja moved to New York to begin work on her master’s degree in international relations at Columbia University, where she met her future husband Jason. They got married in the beautiful medieval city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic coast in Croatia. After graduating from Columbia, Sanja was recruited by Freedom House, a non-governmental organization that supports democracy and human rights around the world. Over the last four years, she has moved up the ranks and is now a senior researcher and the managing editor for two international, multi-million dollar projects that examine democratic governance and the rights of women in the Middle East. In this capacity, she manages a team of over 50 consultants and analysts, and directs research, fundraising, writing, and administrative operations for the projects. She has edited two books: Countries and the Crossroads (Rowman & Littlefield, September 2007) and Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2009). Being born and raised in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sanja also serves as Freedom House’s spokesperson on issues of political development in the Balkans. She is frequently interviewed by the media and her commentary has appeared on the BCC, CNN, NBC, Radio Free Europe, and other television and radio outlets. Sanja travels extensively, and in the last four years alone has visited over 15 countries ranging from Kuwait and Jordan to Kenya and Cambodia. She has just returned from her second trip to India, where she stayed with the friends she met while traveling with the Hinckley Institute’s Kotwara group—they had a great time reminiscing about the fun, old times…

Doug Larson

Doug caught the political bug early in life and began volunteering for political campaigns during Senator Bob Bennett’s first run for the U.S. Senate.  Doug later worked as a Hinckley Intern in Washington, D.C. for Congressman Hansen and served for two years as a member of the Hinckley Institute’s Student Action Committee.  Doug was also active as a student leader at the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center and with the Associated Students of the University of Utah. After graduation, Doug developed a devotion to education, and returned to Columbia University, to obtain a masters degree in education.  After seven years working as an educator, Doug attended law school at Brigham Young University where he served as senior editor of the BYU Law Review, ran the law school’s Government and Politics Legal Society, and was active in the Public Interest Law Foundation. Doug served for three years on the Executive Committee of the Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar, and he currently sits on the J. Rueben Clark Law School Alumni Board.  Doug continues to serve as a hearing officer for the Utah State Office of Education and the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation and maintains a small legal practice in Cedar City where he lives with his wife Sunny and their four small children. Doug was enjoying the full-time practice of law in Salt Lake City, but he simply could not resist an opportunity to join the fledgling Michael O. Leavitt Center at Southern Utah University.  SUU recruited Doug as the first full-time executive director  of the Leavitt Center, to build it from the ground up and establish it as a hub of political discussion and activity in the region. Doug seeks to use the Leavitt Center as a vehicle to teach others how to recognize and manage the political forces that shape society.  The Leavitt Center is expanding its influence by enhancing its internship programs and attracting prominent and compelling leaders, scholars, and personalities from diverse fields to interact with the SUU community.  SUU and the Leavitt Center will be hosting Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and his long-time Chief of Staff, Rich Mckeown, as visiting scholars during Spring semester 2009.  The Hinckley Institute has played a major role in shaping Doug’s career, and he thanks the Institute for its many contributions.   

Diane Major

Diane Major is a principal with the Bockorny Group – a 20-year bipartisan consulting firm in Washington, D.C.  The firm provides strategic political and policy advice to major corporate and trade association clients.  It boasts a senior team of premier lobbyists, many of whom hail from the West, specializing in health care, technology, agriculture, energy and banking matters.  

Since joining the firm in 2005, Diane has expanded the health care practice to include pharmaceutical manufacturers, nationally recognized hospital systems, Fortune 20 pharmacy providers and health care product purchasers.  She is well respected on Capitol Hill for her political acumen and technical knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid payment formulas – an area of expertise that proves valuable when Congress considers major health reform proposals.  Her skills translate well to the business community, whereby she helps industry thought leaders articulate key legislative and regulatory concerns to members of Congress and their staff.        

Diane came to Washington as a Hinckley Institute of Politics intern for the U.S. Conference of Mayors (September ’89).  Since then, she has continued to take her dedication to public service seriously.  She learned the campaign and legislative ropes while working for Congressman Craig Thomas (R-WY), and then later, Senator Thomas.  The experience in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate prepared her well for her role as Senior Associate Director of Federal Relations for the American Hospital Association (AHA).  After many years of devising AHA’s advocacy strategies, she returned to the Hill to work for the Senate Republican Policy Committee, chaired by Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ).  In this position, Diane was responsible for coordinating all health legislation considered on the Senate floor with the Bush Administration and senior Republican Leadership.

Diane has taken a special interest in working with the Institute to help those interested in the political process.  The Bockorny Group administers a quarterly internship program and is pleased to include one of the Institute’s own for its 2010 spring session.  She also is a member of the U of U Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter.

Diane resides in Falls Church, VA, with her husband and three children.  

Ben McAdams

Ben McAdams was sworn into office as Salt Lake County Mayor on Jan. 7, 2013. Mayor McAdams pledged to work collaboratively, across party lines, to find efficiencies in County government and to be open and accountable to citizens. During his tenure as County Mayor, he has championed education, helping the county become the first in the country to partner with the private sector to offer greater access to high-quality preschool for low-income children. Mayor McAdams has also emphasized economic development and job growth, partnering with cities to attract business while being a careful steward of taxpayer dollars. He has also supported greater access for businesses and residents to transit, trails and open space. Mayor McAdams is a graduate of the University of Utah and Columbia Law School. After Columbia Law School, he worked as a corporate finance attorney with firms in New York and Salt Lake City. Ben and his wife, Julie (a fellow Columbia Law School graduate) enjoy hiking with their four children and cheering at Saturday morning soccer games.

Jeff Merchant

Jeff Merchant graduated from the University of Utah in 2000 with a degree in political science and a Certificate in International Relations. Upon returning to the U.S., Jeff became actively involved with the HIP. He interned at the Utah State House of Representatives during the 1999 legislative session and later was named the Ben D. Wood Intern in Social Policy for his work as a presidential intern at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. Jeff was named a Truman Scholar in 2000 by the Harry S. Truman Foundation. In early 2000, Jeff began working for Congressman Jim Matheson's first campaign. After Congressman Matheson won a seat in the House of Representatives, Jeff returned to Washington, DC, as a Legislative Assistant.  Jeff attended the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the U where he received his JD and Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. In law school, Jeff was president of the Natural Resources Law Forum, a member of the Utah Law Review, and, with his teammates, was ranked in the top eight appellate advocacy teams int eh nation at the 2006 National Moot Court Competition. In 2005, Jeff was appointed a Mariner S. Eccles Scholar in Political Economy, was elected ot the Order of the Coif, and received the S.J. Quinney College of Law's College Award for being among the top three student sin his class. Jeff is presently an attorney at Parsons Behle & Latimer with a practice focused on natural resources and environmental law. He continues to actively participate in politics and is involve din a number of political campaigns and professional organizations. 

Marko Mijic

Marko Mijic also fulfilled an internship at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in summer 2008, and returned for full-time employment in November 2009 to work under the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.  Marko graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Behavioral Science and Health in 2009, and is completing graduate work at American University, where he is pursuing a Masters in Public Policy with an emphasis in Health and Social Policy.  After graduating from the University of Utah, Marko was an intern for the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Pew Center on the States.  Speaking of his work with HHS, Marko said, “This opportunity will allow me to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the federal health care efforts and will grant me the ability to be part of this historic health care reform movement.” 


Annie Miller

Annie Miller earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Utah in 2002. She currently serves as the staff assistant to the Administrative Assistant to the Chief Justice at the Supreme Court of the United States. Annie secured this position from the Curator's Office at the Supreme Court, where she served a Hinckley Internship. She also served as a Hinckley intern in the 2000 Utah State Legislature for Representatives Karen Morgan and Jackie Biskupski. Following her internship with the legislature, she was hired as the campaign manager for Representative Jackie Biskupski's re-election. Annie is currently pursuing a M.A. in Liberal Studies with a focus in American Government from Georgetown University and expects to graduate in May of 2006 and attend law school the following fall. Annie attributes the Hinckley Institute of Politics for the opportunities she has been afforded. 

Anthony Morgan served a Hinckley Internship with the Communication Workers of American during the summer of 1967.  He had the opportunity of working the labor union's office of the president on legislative policies and relations.

Anthony attributes his experiences that semester to much of his success today. "It gave me great experience on the Federal legislative process and exposure to developing policy analysis and advocacy documents.  It also provided exposure to a wide range of political actors ranging from George Romney as well as other states’ senators and representatives and their staff."

Today, Anthony is a Professor Emeritus of Higher Education and Vice President Emeritus at the University of Utah (after a 33 year career). He is currently engaged in international consulting in various countries ranging from Hungary to Russia. Presently he is living in Kigali, Rwanda, for five months as a volunteer consultant to the Ministry of Education for the merger of their six universities into one consolidated University of Rwanda.

Basim Motiwala

Basim Motiwala graduated from the University of Utah in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science and Health.  After graduation, Basim was an intern in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.  The ASPE is the chief advisor to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on policy development, and is responsible for developing legislation, coordinating policy, strategic planning, policy research, evaluation, and economic analysis.  During this internship, Basim worked on the personalized health care and the Open Government initiatives, which he said has prepared him to be a successful contributor to projects he now takes on in his current full-time position with HHS.  “Without the Hinckley the opportunity to stay in DC and continue to work would not have been possible,” Basim said.  Although he graduated in a science-related field, Basim is now preparing to apply for law school.


John Oh

John Oh's first Hinckley Internship was with the Utah State Legislature (Jan-March, 2002). He interned for Representative Neal Hendrickson and Representative Neil Hansen. During his internship, he secured bipartisan cosponsors for his legislators' bills, tracked important Caucus bills for leadership and coordinated joint efforts with lobbyists. This experience helped John secure a Political Science Departmental Scholarship for the following academic year. During that year, he was President of Pi Sigma Alpha (Poli-Sci Honor Society) and Vice-Chair of the Political Science Student Advisory Committee. For his efforts, John was awarded the annual Departmental Pacesetter Award in the Spring of 2003. In the Fall of 2003, John worked at the Campaign Legal Center, his second Hinckley internship. There he researched FEC and FCC related materials for three attorneys and reported on several press conferences given by each governmental agency. That January, he started an internship with the Office of the Curator at the Supreme Court of the United States. John gave public lectures and private tours on the function, history, and architecture of the Supreme Court. In March, he was hired in the Marshal's Office and assisted the Justices during oral argument and conference. Three months later, he was taken on as the Aide to the Chambers of Justice Breyer, where he currently works. He is responsible for approximately 8,000 petitions for certiorari, as well as the argument briefs that come into Chambers. As John says, "I feel lucky to be able to have a front seat to judicial decision-making at the highest level." For his future plans, John is currently exploring his options. He has just recently applied to law school and will shortly submit applications for the Peace Corps, Americorps, and Teach for America. 

I honestly believe that I would not be where I am today, had it not been for the Hinckley Institute of Politics. I will always be indebted to the Hinckley Institute for the many doors it has opened for me.

Amy Oliver

The amazing opportunities provided by the Hinckley Institute are truly unparalleled. After graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Political Science in 1995, Amy J. (Richins) Oliver attended Harvard Law School where she was elected student body vice president. Amy's internship with the Curator's Office in the United States Supreme Court received special attention from the Dean of Harvard Law School, when he announced to the Class of 2000 that, amazingly, Amy had worked at the Supreme Court before even attending law school. After graduating cum laude from Harvard, Amy worked for law firms in Washington, DC, and Phoenix, Arizona. Amy recently returned to Salt Lake City and is currently an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Utah. Amy is also active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Beehive Honor Society at the U and as a member of the Character and Fitness Committee of the Utah State Bar. 


Kaylyn Peterson

Kaylyn Peterson was given the opportunity in the fall of 2004 to work as an intern through the Hinckley Institute of Politics for Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho. After an incredible internship experience, she returned to the U to complete her BS in Political Science. Following her graduation in the spring of 2006, Kaylyn was recommended by Congressman Simpson for a position in the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives under former Clerk Karen L. Haas. While working in the Clerk's Office, Kaylyn was given the opportunity to be directly involved in the daily activities on the House of Representatives and the funeral for President Gerald R. Ford. In February of 2007, Kaylyn was asked to return to the office of Congressman Simpson to work as the Congressman's Executive Assistant/Scheduler where she is currently employed. Kaylyn credits the Hinckley Institute of Politics for her opportunity to return to DC and pursue her desired career path

John Poelman

John Poelman is a Health Policy Analyst in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) where he specializes in health care reform, quality improvement initiatives, and medical malpractice reform.  John has worked in the Office of the Secretary since 2006 in various capacities including coordinating all briefing materials for the Secretary and as an assistant to the Secretary’s Value-driven Health Care Initiative – a program that promotes transparency in quality and cost in healthcare.  

John is a native of Utah where he completed his undergraduate education at the University of Utah. Immediately following his time at the U of U,  John worked as a Hinckley Intern for HHS. He is currently completing his final coursework for a Master of Public Health at George Washington University.  

Stan Rasmussen

Stan Rasmussen directs Sutherland legislative efforts on Utah’s Capitol Hill and coordinates the Institute’s interactions with the Governor’s office and other state and local leaders. With extensive experience in management, training and performance coaching before becoming fully immersed in the world of public policy, he worked with organizations and clients in the legal, healthcare, environmental, banking and manufacturing industries, and with agencies in the public sector. Stan developed and manages the Institute’s award-winning Sutherland Transcend Series, a program for elected officials and interested community and business leaders. He and his wife, Chris, have three sons, two wonderful daughters-in-law, and four beautiful grandchildren.

Brett Robinson

Brett A. Robinson is currently a captain in the United States Air Force and he is serving as the Chief of Litigation in the office of the Staff Judge Advocate for the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.  Robinson has recently returned from a deployment to Camp Liberty, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  While in Iraq, Robinson was the legal advisor for two prosecution task forces charged with building cases against suspected terrorists and preparing them for prosecution in Iraqi courts.

Robinson graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Utah in 2002.  Upon graduation, he served as an intern for the Office of the Curator of the Supreme Court of the United States.  Robinson then pursued a legal education, graduating with honors from the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2007.  Robinson commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in May of 2007 and entered active duty as a judge advocate in November 2007.    

Robinson served an LDS mission to Spain from 1998 to 2000.  He is married to the former Melissa (Missy) Nelson and he has two children: Eleanor (Ella) and Andrew.  

Ross Romero

Ross Romero currently serves in the Utah State Senate as the Minority Whip. He previously served one term in the Utah House of Representatives. He is very active in many National Hispanic organizations including currently serving on the boards of: the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators; National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials; and the Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs. Ross has also been a participant in the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility.

Ross was born in Pueblo, Colo., but was raised in Salt Lake City. Ross received his bachelor degree in political science from the University of Utah and his law degree from the University of Michigan. 

Ross has been very involved in many community organizations including serving as the President of the Utah Minority Bar Association; on the Board of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the Sundance Institute (which hosts the Sundance Film Festival) Utah Advisory Board and is on an IASIS' Healthcare Hospital Board (for the Salt Lake Regional Medical Center). 

Ross practiced law for 10 years leaving as a partner/shareholder from the law firm Jones, Waldo, Holbrook & McDonough PC in Salt Lake City and began his career in banking with Zions Bank in 2007 as a vice president, sales resource officer.

Ross is married to Cecilia M. Romero, a partner with the law firm Holland & Hart. They have two children.

Rebekah Shriver

Rebekah Shriver, who is pictured at the White House Correspondents reception with popular actor Bradley Cooper, is now a marketing analyst for SDSE, LLC, a professional services firm that works with the U.S. Department of Energy.  Rebekah graduated in May 2008 with two degrees in Mass Communication and Political Science and completed two Hinckley internships as an undergraduate student, first working for the Republican National Committee’s GOPTV in the summer 2007 and then as an intern for Mary Wooldridge of the Australian Parliament in spring 2008.  After a little persistence and tenacity, Rebecca landed her job with SDSE.  “My internships fostered a lot of personal growth and I learned that a strong work ethic and the ability to work autonomously will get you noticed in the professional realm,” Rebecca said.  “Without being able to work in DC and abroad during my time at the U I would not be where I am a job that I love in our nation's capitol.


David Simons

Dave Simons graduated cum laude from the University of Utah in 1988 with B.A. degrees in Economics and Political Science, a Certificate in International Relations, and a minor in French. Two internships through the Hinckley Institute (Utah Legislative Fiscal Analyst and Utah Labor Commission) played a major role in landing him his first job out of college, as a Federal Investigator with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The internships gave dave a taste for public service, which has helped shape his career. While working for OPM in Phoenix, Dave attended the Thunderbird School of Global Management, earning a Master of International Management (MIM) degree in 1990. Dave spent eight years with OPM, holding successive positions as an Investigator, the Area Representative for Arizona and a Personnel Management Specialist. He worked in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and Denver. In 1996, he left OPM to join the U.S. Department of State, as a Foreign Service Officer. In June 2008, Dave will complete his current tour as the Deputy Management Advisor at the U.s. Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (USNATO) in Brussels, Belgium. In the Fall, he will begin his new assignment, heading up the Human Resources Office at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Dave has also served at U.S. embassies in Athens, Riyadh, and Caracas. He speaks French, Spanish, and Greek. 

Amanda Smith 

Amanda is currently the Legislative Advisor to Governor Huntsman. After participating extensively with the Hinckley Institute of Politics and receiving her Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah in 1989, she pursued a law degree from Gonzaga University. Leading up to her current career, Amanda's professional endeavors include three years of executive director experience at the Homeless Children's Foundation, a non-profit organization; eleven years experience as Director of Government Relations for the Nature Conservancy; and twelve years of experience as the Legislative Director for the Office of the Governor. In her capacity as Legislative Advisor to Governor Huntsman, she managed over 10,000 government employees. 

Laura Snow

An internship with the Hinckley Institute is something to which Laura aspired as early as elementary school. Following her early life in California and France, she completed her pre-college education in Salt Lake City and then enrolled at the U on scholarship. Her Washington, DC, internship aspirations were fulfilled when she accepted an internship appointment in the Curator's Office at the United States Supreme Court. The daily interaction with Justices and their staff was educational and exciting. Opportunities to guide foreign VIP visitors and use her French language skills were highlights. Afterward, she returned to the U to finish her degree in French and subsequently joined the staff at the U's International Center as a Study Abroad Advisor. After 10 years in international education, including the administration of programs in Cambridge, England, language programs in Europe, and service projects in India, Laura was appointed Special Assistant to U President Bernie Machen, and has since served in that capacity for Interim President Lorris Betz, and current President Michael Young. She reports that the Hinckley Institute continues to be one of her favorite places on campus. 

Jonny Spendlove

Jonny Spendlove is a Project Manager in the Global Pricing Organization at Deere & Company.  In this role, Jonny is responsible for the development of pricing strategies for products in Deere’s Latin American markets with an emphasis on Brazil.  This work requires the analysis of economic indicators, political trends, and potential competitive response.   
As an economics and English student at the University of Utah, Jonny was heavily involved in the Hinckley Institute of Politics, interning in both Washington, DC, (Republican Governors Association, Spring 2007) and India (Maitri and SKS Microfinance, Summer 2008).  Jonny also worked as a Hinckley staffer for two years, as an Editor of the Hinckley Journal of Politics, and as an occasional Hinckley Forum host. After graduating from the “U” in 2009, Jonny completed a JD/MBA at the University of Chicago prior to starting with Deere in North Carolina.

Jonny states,  “The Hinckley is the biggest differentiator at the U. It takes ambitious students and exposes them to opportunities they otherwise would not have. It gives them a huge leg up in the job market and on graduate school applications.”  


Greg Stillman

Greg Stillman graduated in May 2009 with two degrees in Chemistry and Economics, and completed an internship with the U.S. Department of Energy in the summer of 2009.  During this internship, Greg was part of the in the Energy Efficiency program office, where he worked on grant funding and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act Geothermal Technologies Webcast.  After his internship, Greg was also hired on by the DOE to work full time.  Like Marko and Basim, Greg has been able to apply his scientific degrees into the political realm to work on extremely relevant political issues. 

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Peter Watkins

It is fair to say Peter Watkins would not be in Washington, DC, 
were it not for the intern program sponsored by the Hinckley Institute 
of Politics. After encouragement from professors like Dan Jones, Peter felt he could try his luck at working in Washington. After working for Senator Orrin Hatch on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Peter returned to the University of Utah with a desire to get back to Washington, DC, as quickly as possible thanks to his positive experience. After receiving his degree from the U, Peter decided to move to DC and see if he could work in the White House. Since then, Peter has worked for at the White House in four different roles. His “foot in the door” job was as a volunteer for Press Secretary 
Ari Fleischer. After a year of volunteer work, Peter was hired to be a full-time Sr. Press Advance Representative in the Office of Presidential Advance. Peter then went to work with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan for 18 months before he moved to the East Wing. Currently, Peter serves as Deputy Press Secretary to the First Lady. His time in Washington, D.C. can all be traced back to his good fortune of being a Hinckley intern.

Aaron Whitehead

Aaron Whitehead graduated from the University of Utah with a BS in political science in 1999.  Aaron completed two internships through the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Aaron first interned with Governor Michael Leavitt during the 1997 legislative session.  In Aaron’s words: “A highlight of this internship was accompanying Lieutenant Governor Olene Walker to Ephraim, where she spoke to the Chamber of Commerce.  It was my dad’s birthday, and we saw him on the freeway.  She hung out the window and yelled, ‘Happy Birthday!’ The majority of the trip, she spoke of her passion toward education.”   Through the Hinckley Institute, Aaron also interned for the Utah Museum of Natural History, where his chief responsibility was researching funding of the arts.  Outside of his internship experiences, Aaron frequently attended Hinckley Forums with friends. Aaron has served on the East Mill Creek Community Council, and for the past eight years, he has taught social studies at East High School in Salt Lake City.  He has particularly enjoyed teaching U.S. Government and Citizenship.  Aaron finds that students learn the importance of accountability while learning about our nation’s government.  Aaron has incorporated aspects of Hinckley Forums into his classes, and has brought in many guest speakers to discuss citizenship and other civic issues. Speakers have ranged from Governor Leavitt to Salt Lake Tribune columnist Paul Rolly.  In addition to his work in the community and in the classroom, Aaron has served as East High School’s head football coach for the past five seasons. This fall, Aaron joined Bronco Mendenhall’s staff at Brigham Young University, where his key responsibility is to assist in the academic success of football players that are deemed “at-risk.”  In addition to his work with student-athletes, Aaron has started graduate work in educational leadership, and he looks forward to working as an administrator at an inner-city school.  Aaron credits the Hinckley Institute of Politics with fostering his desire to become involved in the community, and specifically in education.  

Mike Winder

Mike Winder is a West Valley City Councilman, a Vice President of 
Winder Farms, and a member of the Utah Board of State History.  
As an author, Mike’s newest book Presidents and Prophets: The Story of America’s Presidents and the Latter-day Saints debuted in September. 

A lifelong political junkie, Mike saw firsthand the excitement of a 
congressional campaign when he was a Hinckley Institute of Politics intern for Rep. Jim Hansen’s campaign in 1994.  Working as deputy campaign manager under Joe Hansen, Mike was able to experience a wide variety of campaign activities that helped him hone his skills for his own run for office years later.  It was a thrill on election night to be part of the Republican Revolution that brought GOP majorities to the House for the first time in forty years.  With an Honors BA in history, Mike went on to earn an MBA from the University of Utah, and a leadership certificate from Harvard.

Today, when Mike’s not playing the role of businessman, public servant, or historian, he enjoys traveling with his wife and three children.