Hinckley Institute

January 2023 | Dave Davis

Alumni Spotlight

Dave Davis’ thirst for politics can be traced back to his experiences with the Hinckley Institute.

During his time at the U, Davis served on the Hinckley Institute of Politics Student Advisory Committee, completed two internships and took a government class taught by Ted Wilson and Dan Jones.

Davis completed his first internship, in Washington, DC, in January 1993. Davis recalls being housed in the dorms at Catholic University, and had many memorable experiences, such as attending the inauguration of President Bill Clinton and being interviewed on the street by journalist and TV anchor Peter Jennings. His DC experiences helped to spark Davis’ interest in politics.

The next year, Davis completed a legislative internship, working with Representative Mike Waddoups, who was a member of leadership as the House Rules Committee Chair. He made lasting connections at his internship - Davis maintained a great relationship with Senator Waddoups as he began his lobbying career, and he continues to have great conversations with current representative and former legislative intern Angela Romero, about their experiences during that legislative session.

Each Hinckley experience greatly contributed to Davis’ decision to attend law school and eventually get into lobbying.

My DC Internship provided me with insights into how DC works and national politics, and my state legislative internship really highlighted the enormous difference between state and National politics and was my first dose of just how quickly issues can move at a state level.

Davis graduated from the U in 1994 with a BA in Political Science. He has enjoyed a successful career as a lobbyist since obtaining his law degree in 1997. He currently serves as the President and Chief Legal Officer at the Utah Food Industry Association.

My experiences at the Hinckley Institute were critical to fanning the flames of my political interest. If I did not have the experiences specifically in DC and on Utah’s Capitol Hill, I am not sure if I would have gone to law school and eventually become a lobbyist. I am really grateful that the Hinckley Institute of Politics was there for me when I was doing my undergraduate work at the U of U. It was a safe haven for me where I knew I could go and bounce ideas off of other students and faculty.