Gov Herbert appoints new policy & communications directors

Gov. Gary R. Herbert has announced the appointments of Gordon Larsen as policy director and Anna Lehnardt as communications director, following Paul Edwards’ move to Brigham Young University’s Wheatley Institution. 


“I am grateful to have both Gordon and Anna on my team,” Gov. Herbert said. “Since joining my administration in 2017, Gordon has been an invaluable adviser, helping us work successfully with the federal government and other states. His contributions will be crucial as my administration continues to work to ensure Utah remains the best place to live, to work, and raise a family. Anna’s tireless work ethic and dedication to keeping the press and public informed will be vital as we continue to coordinate communication efforts across all platforms.” 

Larsen has served as director of federal affairs to Gov. Herbert since October of 2017 and will retain his federal affairs portfolio in his role as policy director. He previously served as legislative counsel for congressional affairs at the U.S. Agency for Global Media and as a legislative adviser to Representatives Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop. A native of Kearns, Utah, Larsen attended Brigham Young University and holds JD and MBA degrees from the College of William and Mary.

“I love Utah, and I’m thrilled for the new responsibilities and the chance to help Gov. Herbert continue the successes that make Utah a consistent leader among states,” Larsen said. 

Lehnardt has served as Gov. Herbert’s public information officer since November of 2017. Before serving in that capacity, she worked as a communications specialist on his team, executing digital and multimedia communication strategy on behalf of the administration. She holds a master’s degree in comparative literature and bachelor’s degrees in English, French and German from the University of Utah. During her time at the University of Utah, Lehnardt served as editor-in-chief of The Daily Utah Chronicle.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the Herbert/Cox administration,” Lehnardt said. “I look forward to implementing a rigorous strategy to help Utahns stay better informed through our press, web and social media outreach.” 

Larsen will fully transition to his new role by early fall. Lehnardt’s appointment is effective immediately.