This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Kirk Jowers sometimes called the "most quoted man in Utah" on politics is leaving as director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, a job he held for 10 years.
He announced Thursday that he will resign effective June 30 to take a new job as vice president of corporate relations at doTERRA International, a multilevel-marketing company that sells therapeutic oils.
Jason Perry was named the interim director of the institute. He is the former chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert, and is the university's vice president for government relations.
"Kirk has served the Hinckley Institute and our entire community with great distinction," University of Utah President David W. Pershing said in a prepared statement.
Jowers leaves as the institute celebrates its 50th anniversary in May, and after the institute hosted a record 116 political forums last year.
Jowers said in an interview that he chose to leave now for several reasons.
He had been chairman and general counsel of Mitt Romney's leadership political action committees since 2005, and had hoped to help Romney run for president again. "When the dream of Mitt Romney as president was over, that freed me up to explore some of the offers I've received over the years."
He also said, "The Hinckley Institute is in a really good spot now" financially and otherwise.
"And finally, doTERRA became very interesting to me" because it wanted him not only to help with lobbying and public relations, but also pitch in on its international work. He said work abroad has been a favorite part of his job at the university.
"I believe what the company is doing is good and it's worked for our family," he said about its therapeutic oils.
Of note, doTERRA attracted negative publicity last year when the Food and Drug Administration warned it and two other companies against marketing their products as possible treatments or cures for Ebola.
Jowers said he is especially proud of his work at the institute to start its international program.
"We didn't have an international program when I arrived, and now we have students in 58 countries working for parliaments and governments all over the world. My hope is it will pay real dividends for Utah to have these contacts," he said.
He may be even more widely known for his activity in Utah politics which he says he hopes to continue.
He is a co-founder of the Count My Vote movement that sought to create open-primary elections, was a founder of Real Women Run to encourage more women to seek political office, and was a founding member of the Utah-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
Jowers also was on Gov. Gary Herbert's "advisory team from the start," and chaired Gov. Jon Huntsman's Commission on Strengthening Utah's Democracy that recommended ways to improve voter turnout.