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Policy Forums

The Careers in Government guest speaker series helps students of all academic disciplines explore career opportunities in politics and government. Each semester we bring notable political professionals to campus to discuss their work, share tips, and take questions from students. 



"Mental Health & the Courts - perspectives from the bench" with Judge Kevin Allen

Come listen to Utah First District Judge Kevin Allen discuss the evolving relationship between the Courts and the mentally ill, the mental health programs expanding across the country, and the importance of these problem-solving courts. Judge Allen also established and presides over the First District Mental Health Court, a specialty court geared towards holding mentally ill offenders accountable to undergo court-monitored treatment without incarceration. Before his appointment to the First District Court, Judge Allen practiced law in Cache Valley and served as president of the Cache County Bar Association. While in law school, Judge Allen was commissioned as an officer for the U.S. Navy, and after graduation served in the JAG Corp, becoming a lead prosecutor for the Northeast Command, among other positions. He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma and his undergraduate degree from BYU.

"Why Local Government Matters" with Bountiful City Manager Gary Hill, Logan Mayor Craig Peterson, and Senator Hillyard.
October 29, 5:30 p.m., LIB 101

If your knowledge of city government doesn't extend much further than Parks & Rec quotes, you may be surprised at how much decisions down the street in your city government impact your life on a daily basis. Come and listen to a panel discussion talking about the importance of state and local politics, the career opportunities available, and the influence your involvement can bring to your community.

"Shaping Your Message" with Alison Hawkins

Alison Hawkins, Aggie alumna and VP of Communications for Financial Services Roundtable, will speak on campus on the keys to crafting effecting messaging strategies, and the transition from press releases to multi-media communication. Alison is the VP of Communications at the Financial Services Roundtable. She previously served as Regional Press Secretary for Governor Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, and was a Presidential Appointee Press Secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She joined FSR from the Philanthropy Roundtable, where she headed external affairs. She also has experience working on the communications staff of Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and as a press secretary in the U.S. House. Alison graduated from Utah State University with an undergrad in Journalism/Corporate Communications and PR.

Theresa Foxley, Aggie and Managing Director of Corporate Recruiting and International Trade for the Governor's Office of Economic Development, will share her experiences and efforts to bring in top national and international businesses to Utah. A well-known former corporate attorney, Theresa received her J.D. from the University of Utah, and her B.A. in Political Science from Utah State..

Representative Matheson served in Congress for fourteen years, uniquely positioned as the only Democrat in Utah's congressional delegation. He served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He was the co-chairmen of the Blue Dog Coalition, a conservative group of 25 House Democrats, and prior to his role in Congress, worked extensively in the energy field, ultimately started his own energy consulting firm.

September 10, 2015, 5:30 – Old Main 304

Jon Cox, Aggie alumnus and Director of Communications for Governor Herbert, will be on campus for a Q&A and offer insight on how he went from a USU Communications student to a top Communications Director in the state. Cox is a former Utah House Representative and former Sanpete County Commissioner. He also served as a liaison for several years to Senator Bob Bennett.

September 9, 2014         5:30 p.m. – ESLC 046
Spencer Cox was appointed Lieutenant Governor in October 2013 by Governor Herbert. Lieutenant Governor Cox has a wealth of experience in state politics, including Mayor of Fairview, Sanpete County Commissioner, and serving in the Utah House of Representatives.
September 23, 2014         5:30 p.m. – AGRS 101
Judge Robert Shelby
Judge Shelby was appointed by the President to serve in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah in September 2012. He has served on Utah Supreme Court’s Advisory Committees and the Salt Lake County Bar Association’s Executive Committee (including Vice Chair). He’s been an associate at Snow, Christensen & Martineau, as well as Burbridge, Mitchell & Gross.
October 21, 2014            5:30 p.m. – AGRS 101
Robert Gehrke
Robert Gehrke’s experience includes many years reporting on politics and government. Before returning to Utah to report on state politics, Mr. Gehrke served as the Tribune’s Washington, D.C., correspondent, and formerly reported for the Associated Press.
October 28, 2014            5:30 p.m. – LIB 101
Congressman Rob Bishop & Congressman Mike Simpson
Congressman Rob Bishop was first elected to represent Utah’s First District in 2002. Prior to his election, the Congressman spent 28 years as public high school teacher, and served 16 years in the Utah House of Representatives, including time as Majority Leader and Speaker of the House. He also served as Chairman of the Utah Republican Party for two terms. He currently serves on the House Rules Committee, Natural Resources Committee (chairing a subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations), and the Armed Services Committee.
Congressman Mike Simpson is serving his eighth term in Congress, representing Idaho’s Second District. Before running nationally, Congressman Simpson worked at the Simpson Family Dental Practice, while serving 14 years in the Idaho House of Representatives, spending the last six years as Speaker of the House. He currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and several subcommittees, including Chairman of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. The Congressman is an Aggie alum.
November 19, 2014        11:30 a.m. – LIB 101
Andrew Croshaw
Prior to his position at Levitt Partners, Mr. Croshaw served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Secretary Michael Leavitt, and focused on Medicare and Medicaid policy during his time at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, as well as at Eli Lilly and Company.