Governor Spencer J. Cox (R-UT)

Governor Spencer J. Cox (R-UT)

Governor Spencer J. Cox (R-UT) Chair, National Governors Association | 18th Governor of the State of Utah

Gov. Spencer J. Cox is a husband, father, farmer, recovering attorney, and Utah’s 18th governor. He’s also currently serving as 2023-2024 chairman of the National Governors Association.

Gov. Cox has a long track record of public service, serving as a city councilmember, mayor, county commissioner and state legislator before being appointed as Utah’s lieutenant governor in 2013. He was sworn in as governor on Jan. 4, 2021. 

During his first term in office, Gov. Cox has cut $1.1 billion in taxes, implemented landmark changes in water law, water conservation and infrastructure planning, locked in record funding for education and teachers, enacted universal school choice, and secured funds for affordable housing. A long-time advocate for suicide prevention and mental health resources, he’s become a national voice on protecting youth from the harms of social media. He also signed early education and workforce program funding, launched the One Utah Health Collaborative, and expanded opportunities for women, diverse communities and those living in rural parts of the state. 

With a focus on solutions, Gov. Cox promotes respect in politics and innovation in government, works across party lines to find common ground, and regularly participates in hands-on service projects. These elements are the foundation of his NGA Chair’s Initiative, “Disagree Better: Healthy Conflict for Better Policy.”

A sixth-generation Utahn, Gov. Cox was born and raised in Fairview, a town of 1,200 in the center of the state. He met First Lady Abby Palmer Cox at age 16 and they married after he returned from serving a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico. He attended Snow College, Utah State University, and the Washington and Lee University School of Law, then clerked for U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart and worked at a Salt Lake City law firm. Several years later, Gov. Cox and First Lady Cox moved back to Fairview to raise their four children – Gavin, Kaleb, Adam, and Emma Kate – on the family farm. The governor, first lady and Emma Kate currently reside in the Kearns Mansion, also known as the Governor’s Mansion, in Salt Lake City.