The Washington Post

Jon Huntsman joins Brookings

The Brookings Institution announced today that former GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman will join the think tank as a distinguished fellow.

Former GOP presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman joins the Brookings Institution as a distinguished fellow. (Elise Amendola/AP)

Huntsman, who was Utah’s governor from 2005 to 2009, served in four administrations, most recently as U.S. ambassador to China in the Obama administration, until he resigned in January 2011 to run for president.

Brookings will draw on Huntsman’s China expertise and his success as Utah’s governor.

“As we try to address America’s domestic and foreign policy challenges, Jon’s extraordinary government service at home and abroad will be a great benefit to the Institution,” said Brookings President Strobe Talbott in a statement.

As governor, Huntsman led the state as first in the nation in job growth, oversaw major tax and health-care reforms. When Huntsman left office, he had approval ratings over 80 percent and earned Utah the title of “Best Managed State in America” by the Pew Center on the States

With weak showings in early primaries, Huntsman ended his bid for the presidency in January and offered his endorsement to Mitt Romney.

Huntsman joins other Brookings distinguished fellows Donna Shalala, former Health and Human Services secretary; Itamar Rabinovich, an Israeli diplomat and university president; Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania; Ambassador Thomas Pickering; and Javier Solana, former secretary general of NATO and high representative for foreign and security policy of the European Union.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He freelances and hosts a podcast at and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.


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