Institute adds depth in energy, construction, economics and public policy
Feb. 15 (Salt Lake City) – The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute today announced new and expanded staff positions that will strengthen the research capacities of the institute and better serve Utah decision makers. Together, the new staff add over 100 years of public policy experience to an already deep and talented staff.
The professional staff at the Gardner Policy Institute now numbers 26, providing a significant research presence to serve the Utah Governor’s Office, Legislature, county and city government, businesses, non-profits, and other entities and individuals. During 2017 the institute prepared the state’s official long-term population and employment projections, research on Utah’s declining fertility rate, an analysis of the impact of globalization on the Utah economy, the Economic Report to the Governor, an analysis of the economic impact of Utah’s aerospace and defense industry, and other compelling research products.
The staff announcements include the following:
Juliette Tennert, M.A., Chief Economist
Ms. Tennert, who already directs the economic and public policy research at the Gardner Policy Institute, will now serve as Chief Economist. In this role, she will provide insightful commentary on national and local economic conditions, including a monthly blog on the Utah economy. Tennert will also be the lead economic forecaster for the institute and oversee quarterly economic forecasts to be shared with Utah decision-makers. Tennert holds a master’s degree in economics from UNLV and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Chicago.
Michael Christensen, Ph.D., Scholar in Residence
Mr. Christensen serves as a Scholar in Residence at the Gardner Policy Institute. His service follows a distinguished 40-year career in public policy in Utah, including appointment as the director of Legislative Research and General Counsel for the Utah Legislature, executive director of Utah Foundation, and State Planning Coordinator and Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. As Scholar in Residence, Christensen advises the research of the institute, mentors staff, and will author a book on state and local public finance. Christensen holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Utah.
Dejan Eskic, M.R.E.D., Senior Research Associate
Mr. Eskic serves as a Senior Research Associate at the Gardner Policy Institute. In this role, he specializes in housing, construction, and real estate research and prepares economic, demographic, and fiscal impact analyses. Eskic will work closely with the Ivory-Boyer Construction Database, Utah’s longest-running historical database on permit authorized construction at the county and city level in the state. He holds a master’s degree in real estate development from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah and a bachelor’s degree in urban planning, also from the U.
Thomas Holst, M.B.A., Senior Energy Analyst
Thomas Holst serves as a Senior Energy Analyst, conducting research on the economic impact of Utah’s energy industry and analyzing energy economic development scenarios. Prior to joining the Gardner Policy Institute, he held assignments as a refined products trader in Hamburg, Germany, London, England, and Moscow, Russia and opened new enterprise offices for Unocal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Moscow, Russia. Mr. Holst also worked on the Angola LNG project as the Gas Supply Manager before serving as Chevron’s Country Manager in Romania. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University.
Angela J. Oh, M.S., Senior Research Economist
Angela J. Oh is a senior economist for the economic and public policy research team at the Gardner Policy Institute, analyzing Utah’s economy and researching public policy issues that affect the state. Prior to joining the Institute, Ms. Oh served as the budget manager at the Utah Department of Transportation. While there, she also performed cost-benefit analyses and ran gas tax scenarios to determine the potential impact to the Transportation Fund, Transportation Investment Fund, and to businesses and individuals. Ms. Oh also served as a staff economist and senior statistician for the Utah State Legislature. She earned her B.S. in Economics with a minor in International Studies and her M.S. in Economics from the University of Utah.
Meredith DeMordaunt King, B.A., Research Associate
Ms. King serves as a research associate at the Gardner Policy Institute with a specialty in economics, public policy and survey research. Ms. King spent two years working for TargetPoint Consulting in Washington, D.C. where she analyzed data, prepared data visualizations, wrote research briefs, and assisted with quantitative and qualitative survey research. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Brigham Young University and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Over the next few months the Gardner Policy Institute will add additional expertise in health care policy.