Kristen Cox named 2016 Public Official of the Year

Kristen Cox, executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, will be honored Wednesday night with the prestigious 2016 Public Official of the Year award in Washington, D.C.

Each year, Governing magazine identifies the top public servants in the nation and recognizes them for tackling complex problems with the Public Official of the Year award.

Governing receives hundreds of nominations annually for state and local officials with extraordinary accomplishments. After an exhaustive process that involves consulting with field experts and scholars, a selection committee and what Governing describes as “painstaking research,” that list is narrowed down to eight individuals who are raising the bar in public service. This year Cox was chosen through this process as one of the nation’s exemplary public servants.

Cox was appointed as the primary budget advisor to Gov. Gary R. Herbert in 2012. In her role, she oversees the creation of the roughly $15 billion annual budget. She is also the author of the SUCCESS Framework, a process improvement effort that has significantly increased efficiency and effectiveness in state government. Working with state employees to design personalized solutions to their challenges, Cox has improved both quality and efficiency, resulting in improved employee morale, and a better experience for citizens using public services.

Utah is a fast-growing state, with more demand on scarce taxpayer resources. Yet Cox’s fiscal prudence has helped the state to invest in areas that will ensure an educated workforce and steady economic growth for decades to come. Governing recognized that Utah is doing more than any other state in America to prepare for the next economic downturn, thanks to Cox.

“Utah is extremely fortunate to have Kristen Cox working for all of us,” Gov. Herbert said. “And I do mean all of us, because every decision she makes is focused on delivering the best possible result for the taxpayer, both fiscally and in terms of providing the highest quality service. She is a tremendous public servant and I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of this honor.”

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