Assistant Dean; Director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute
Natalie Gochnour serves as an assistant dean in the David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. She also serves as the chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber. In these roles, she helps connect the Eccles School with the broader business community and shares applied economic and business research.
Gochnour’s experience includes a diverse mix of public service and business experience. From 2006 to 2013 she guided the public policy work of the Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest business association, representing 7,700 member businesses. She helped create and lead the Downtown Rising movement, helped pass a ballot initiative to secure funds for the expansion of Utah’s TRAX light rail and FrontRunner commuter rail service, and assisted with the drafting and promotion of The Utah Compact.
During Gochnour’s state service she advised Utah governors Bangerter, Leavitt, and Walker, and served as the media spokesperson for the governor’s office during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. She also served as a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, serving as an associate administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a deputy to the secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In 2012, Gochnour was the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for business from the YWCA Salt Lake City. She has also been honored by Wasatch Women magazine as the “Wasatch Women of the Year,” an honor bestowed to women in the community who elevate the stature of women and serve the community good.
Gochnour serves on the Salt Lake City International Airport, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, World Trade Center Utah, and Primary Children’s Hospital Boards. She is a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor’s Economic Development Council and vice-chair of Envision Utah, one of the nation’s most successful quality growth partnerships.
Gochnour is a sought after public speaker with the unique ability to translate policy-speak into everyday language. A native Utahn, her professional focus, and passion are public policies that promote civil society and a prosperous future for all Utahns. She shares her views in regular columns in both Utah Business magazine and the Deseret News.
Gochnour has both an undergraduate and master’s degree in economics from the University of Utah. She teaches Public Finance for the Economics Department.
When she is not working, you can find her cycling along the Jordan River Parkway, spending time with her two children and son-in-law, or up on the slopes skiing with her husband of 30 years.