Jennifer Robinson

Chief of Staff

Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute


Dr. Jennifer Robinson is the Chief of Staff at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. She directs the institute’s operations team that includes communications, events, human resources, and finances. As Chief of Staff, she conducts in-depth research and oversees the institute’s four research units focused on Utah demographics, economics and public finance, industries, and community research.

Dr. Robinson provides insightful information about Utah’s economy, changing demographics, and public policy to community leaders, public officials, and business leaders throughout the state. She recently co-authored The New Utah: Keepers of the Flame monograph. This publication highlights six significant transitions, all associated with growth and change, taking place in Utah. This project is one of many high-impact projects that Dr. Robinson has worked on throughout her career. She has directed the widely praised Utah Informed booklet, the Economic Report to the Governor, the Diversity in Utah Data Book, and significant policy assessments.

She serves on the boards of the Community Foundation of Utah, Visit Salt Lake, and Utah Foundation, and the University of Utah Veteran’s Day Committee, In 2014, Governor Herbert appointed Dr. Robinson to the Utah Women in the Economy Commission, where she served until 2020.

Utah Business Magazine recognized her as one of 30 Women to Watch in 2017. In 2021, she received the Ethics in Education Award from the Daniel’s Fund and the Empathetic Global Leadership Award from the David Eccles School of Business.

Dr. Robinson is the co-author of two books, “Native Vote: American Indians, the Voting Rights Act, and the Right to Vote (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and “The Rise of the West in Presidential Elections” (University of Utah 2010), and numerous book chapters and journal articles on voting rights, legal issues in higher education, and public administration.

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