One of the biggest questions following Jon M. Huntsman Jr.’s decision to drop out of the GOP presidential race was not who his exit would benefit -- the former Utah governor and ambassador to China had struggled to break the single digits in the polls -- but rather what would come next in Huntsman’s career.
A position in the Obama administration would seem to be out of the picture -- Huntsman left his post as Obama’s ambassador to China to pursue his White House bid. And Huntsman’s lack of traction among Republican primary voters hasn’t made him the kind of sought-after surrogate like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) or South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R).
But now, the question of Huntsman’s next step has been answered, at least in part.
The Huntsman Cancer Foundation announced Thursday morning that the former GOP White House hopeful will become its new chairman. In doing so, Huntsman will succeed his father, Jon M. Huntsman, who will become chairman emeritus of the foundation.
The elder Huntsman said in a statement that his son -- who previously served as president and CEO of the foundation -- “comes to the Foundation with a wealth of leadership experience.”
“His unparalleled international reputation and experience will greatly enhance the life-saving work in which the Foundation is engaged,” Jon M. Huntsman said. “We join together with the entire Huntsman Cancer Institute team of more than 1,300 full-time faculty and staff in welcoming Jon to this new position.”
The Huntsman Cancer Foundation is related to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, a University of Utah-based center that was founded by the senior Huntsman in 1995. The center is “the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center in the entire Intermountain West,” according to a release from the institute.