Jon Huntsman, Jr, at 60 years of age, has lived a varied and remarkable life in business and public service.
Jon Huntsman Jr. was born the eldest of nine children, and spent his childhood pursuing his two passions: racing motocross (a love for motorcycles has stuck with him throughout his life) and music, which has led him to play keyboard for numerous rock bands over the years. Jon attended Highland High School, where he met the love of his life Mary Kaye while working together at a Salt Lake City Marie Callender’s Pie Shop.
Together, Jon and Mary Kaye have seven children: Mary Anne, Abby, Elizabeth “Liddy”, Jon III, William, Gracie (adopted from China) and Asha (adopted from India). Patriotism and public service are deeply held values of the Huntsman family, and both Jon III and William Huntsman are graduates of the US Naval Academy, currently serving as active duty naval officers.
Jon Huntsman began his career in public service as a staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He has served every one of the five U.S. presidents since then in critical roles around the world, including as the Ambassador to Singapore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia, U.S. Trade Ambassador, and U.S. Ambassador to China. Most recently, President Donald Trump appointed Jon to serve a two-year term in his top diplomatic position as U.S. Ambassador to Russia. In all Senate confirmations, he received unanimous votes. For his service abroad in two of the world’s most difficult posts, Huntsman received the state department’s highest honor, The Distinguished Service Award.
As Governor of Utah, Jon brought about strong economic and historic tax reforms, tripled the state’s rainy-day fund, and helped bring unemployment rates to historic lows. Historically, Huntsman was one of Utah’s most popular governors, reaching approval ratings as high as 90 percent. During his tenure, Utah was named the best managed state in America and ranked #1 in the nation in job growth. Recognized by others for his service, Governor Huntsman was elected as Chairman of the Western Governors Association, serving nineteen states throughout the region.
Jon’s experience in business is varied and extensive. He served in numerous leadership capacities within the Huntsman Corporation and as Chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Previously he served as Chairman of the Atlantic Council, and on the boards of some of America’s greatest corporations, including Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar Corporation, Chevron Corporation, and Hilton. He has also been a trustee of the Naval Academy Foundation and the Reagan Presidential Foundation.
“I’m a believer that it’s not the critics who count, but rather, to quote Theodore Roosevelt, ‘the man in the arena,’ willing to strive for the highest achievements despite the possibility of falling short. I’ve spent a lifetime gathering experience, developing a vision of where this state could go, and establishing a network of relationships and connections that can get us ahead in the game. If I were to just sit out, I would be a very unfulfilled man. I’d rather be the man in the arena.”
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