Gov. Spencer Cox announced former Utah Senate President Wayne Niederhauser as his choice to serve as the new state homeless services coordinator. As outlined in HB 347, this position serves as the chief administrative officer of the Office of Homeless Services.
“During his legislative career, Wayne did not shy away from helping to solve some of the most complex and difficult issues facing the state, and he’s proving that resolve again in accepting this key public service assignment,” Gov. Cox said. “His leadership and ability to bring parties together will be crucial as we develop a coordinated approach to improving life for some of the most vulnerable among us.”
To assist the new state homeless services coordinator, Gov. Cox also has assembled a sub-cabinet group on homeless issues. This cabinet support team will advise the coordinator, organize the state’s response between various agencies and advance the governor’s goals around supporting the implementation of directives set by the Utah Homeless Council.
Members of the cabinet support team include Senior Advisor Pamela Atkinson, Department of Workforce Services Executive Director Casey Cameron, Department of Human Services Executive Director Tracy Gruber, Department of Health Executive Director Rich Saunders, Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Dan Hemmert, Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget Executive Director Sophia DiCaro, Department of Public Services Commissioner Jess Anderson and Senior Advisor of Communications Jennifer Napier-Pearce.
Niederhauser served in the Utah Senate for 12 ½ years, with six of those as Senate President. Using a measured and collaborative approach to policy, he helped lead the state out of the Great Recession, sponsored a successful tax reform effort in 2007 and led major advances in government transparency and accountability. His public service now consists of serving on several nonprofit boards including on the Board of Trustees at Utah State University, the Olympic Legacy Foundation, Columbus Community Center, the Utah Sports Commission, the Pioneer Park Coalition, the Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games (Olympics) and is the co-chair of the Utah Debate Commission.
Outside of public office, Niederhauser is a Certified Public Accountant and Real Estate broker. He co-owns and operates CW Real Estate Services, a full-service real estate company. He has a master’s degree in Accounting from Utah State University, where he met his wife Melissa Barrett. They have been married for 38 years and have five children and two grandchildren.