Dr. Timothy Shriver
Chair, Special Olympics



Timothy Shriver, Chair of Special Olympics International Board of Directors, is a leading educator who focuses on the social and emotional factors in learning. He co-founded and currently chairs the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the leading school reform organization in the field of social and emotional learning. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Co-Chairman of the National Commission on Social and Emotional Learning, and President of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. Shriver earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University, a Master's degree from Catholic University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Connecticut. He has produced 4 films and is the author of the New York Times best seller Fully Alive – Discovering What Matters Most.


Gary R. Herbert
Governor of Utah


Governor Gary Richard Herbert has led Utah's recovery from the Great Recession to a position of national economic prominence. His unwavering focus on economic development includes attracting businesses and investment to the state while helping homegrown businesses flourish.
The Governor is focused on four cornerstones to strengthen Utah's economy: education, jobs, energy, and self-determination. As a result, Utah has become a premier destination for business, jobs, and an unsurpassed quality of life. As Utah's 17th Governor, he took the Oath of Office on August 11, 2009. Prior to becoming the state's chief executive, Governor Herbert served as Lieutenant Governor for five years. In 1990, Mr. Herbert was appointed to the Utah County Commission and concluded his service in 2004. Governor Herbert and his wife, Jeanette, are the proud parents of six children and 16 grandchildren.


Scott R. Palmer
Managing Partner/Co-Founder, EducationCounsel



Mr. Palmer, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of EducationCounsel, provides policy, legal and strategic planning and advocacy services to education leaders across the country, including state/national policy counsel and federal advocacy before the White House, U.S. Department of Education and Congress. He works on a wide range of reforms, from designing K-12 policies that promote college and career readiness, to building comprehensive birth-to-five early learning systems, to promoting access and diversity in higher education. Mr. Palmer previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. He holds a J.D. from the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard.


Spencer Cox
Lieutenant Governor of Utah


Spencer J. Cox, Utah's 8th Lt. Governor, is from Fairview, Utah where he currently resides with his wife, Abby and their four children. He is a graduate of Snow College, Utah State University, and Washington and Lee Law School. He formerly practiced law with Fabian & Clendenin and was Vice President and General Counsel of CentraCom. He has served as a councilman and mayor of Fairview, as a Sanpete County Commissioner, and in the Utah House of Representatives. Lt. Governor Cox is by statute the chief election officer of the state and the liaison between the governor and legislature. He travels extensively throughout the state supporting economic development and local government solutions. He is committed to strengthening families, transforming education, increasing voter participation, utilizing modern technologies, promoting healthy living, and empowering the homeless and impoverished.


Sydnee Dickson

State Superintendent of Education





Sydnee Dickson has been serving as Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction since June of 2016 and served as interim state superintendent for six months prior to that. She has nearly 10 years of experience working in the office of the Utah State Board of Education. Prior to that Dickson worked in various counseling, teaching, and leadership capacities in the Davis, Granite and Murray school districts for 27 years. She holds an Ed.D. degree in Education Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah and a master of education degree from Brigham Young University in educational leadership and administration. Her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and teaching is from Utah State University.

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Tami Pyfer

Education Advisor to Gov. Herbert


Tami Pyfer is the Education Advisor to Governor Gary R. Herbert. Appointed in January of 2014, she advises the Governor on education policy and other public and higher education issues. She also assists the Governor as he leads his Education Excellence Commission. Previous to her appointment as Education Advisor, Tami served on the Utah State Board of Education and worked as a Clinical Instructor at Utah State University in the Special Education and Rehabilitation Department. Tami was actively involved in her children's education serving in the PTA, on school site-based leadership committees, and as executive director of the Logan Schools Foundation. Tami also served in various community organizations including 8 years on the Logan City Council. Tami is passionate about lifting others through education, music, laughter, and service. She and her husband, Aaron, have five children and seven grandchildren. 

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