Kristen Cox is the executive director of the Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB). Appointed to the position by Gov. Herbert in 2012, she has worked diligently to integrate operational excellence with the state’s management and budgeting practices.
The mission of GOMB is to create more value for every tax dollar invested. Under Kris’ leadership, Utah improved government performance by more than 27 percent by January 2017, exceeding the 25 percent goal set by the Governor. The work to improve government is never over, and the focus has now shifted to targeted improvements at specific state agencies.
Prior to her time at GOMB, Kris served as the executive director of the Department of Workforce Services (DWS). Kris led the DWS effort to save taxpayers nearly $30 million dollars while simultaneously improving quality for customers. This occurred during a time of significant caseload growth due to the 2008 economic recession.
Kris has also worked as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Disabilities, was appointed to a position with the Department of Education by President George W. Bush and held numerous positions with the National Federation of the Blind. She ran as the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Maryland during the 2006 general election.
In December 2016, Kris was selected as one of Governing Magazine’s public officials of the year. She has also been honored by the Utah Community Foundation as an Enlightened 50 (2016), Utah Business Magazine as one of the 30 Women to Watch (2012) and by Days of 47 with the Pioneers of Progress Award for Business and Enterprise (2012).
Kris received her Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology from Brigham Young University. She served an LDS mission in Brazil and treasures any opportunity to speak Portuguese. Kris is an avid reader and loves being active. She and her husband, Randy, have two sons. They love the outdoors, especially hiking Utah’s mountains and trails. Kris’ greatest outdoor adventures have been skydiving, paragliding, skiing and hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim.