Governor appoints new education policy advisor

Gov. Gary R. Herbert has announced the appointment of Karen Peterson as his new Education Policy Advisor. Peterson has been serving as the Deputy Education Policy Advisor for the past five years. She has had extensive experience in both education policy and the legislative process. Peterson is also currently a member of the Clinton City Council.

“I am grateful and humbled by this appointment from Governor Herbert. Our schools are grappling with some of the most challenging circumstances they have ever experienced,” Peterson said. “I am inspired by the innovation, compassion, and flexibility school leaders, parents, and communities are showing every day on behalf of our students. I look forward to continuing to support their good work.”

Peterson will fill the position vacated by Tami Pyfer, who has served as Gov. Herbert’s Education Policy Advisor since January of 2014. Pyfer is leaving her position with the Governor’s Office to be one of the founding leaders of UNITE, a new national start-up led by the long-time Special Olympics Chair Tim Shriver and dedicated to inspiring and empowering Americans to join together across divides and work toward a more unified country.

“Working with the governor has been the highlight of my public service,” Pyfer said. “It has been an honor to serve with education stakeholders as we worked to improve public and higher education throughout the state. My time on both the State Board of Education and with the governor has given me a deep appreciation for the power that comes when people of goodwill and passion unite in a common cause. I look forward to continuing the pursuit of this kind of unity at a national level.”

Herbert thanked Pyfer and Peterson for their dedicated service to the state.

“Tami and Karen have been an incredible education team,” Gov. Herbert said. “They have each brought their unique strengths to my office and helped move forward the work of improving education in Utah in an unprecedented way. I am excited for the new opportunities awaiting Tami, and wish her well in her new endeavors. I have complete confidence in Karen’s abilities to take the state to even greater heights as we continue the never-ending work of education transformation.”