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Paul S. Edwards


Paul S. Edwards has directed Wheatley Institute since August 2019. In academia, government, and media, Dr. Edwards has helped organizations better achieve their missions by refining strategic objectives, building capacity and forming productive coalitions. Prior to joining Wheatley, Dr. Edwards served as deputy chief of staff to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert where he directed the governor’s communications and guided state policy innovations with regard to elections, federal-state relations, homelessness, health care, medical cannabis, and suicide prevention. In March of 2020 he was called back into public service for nine months by Utah’s governor to assist with the initial phases of the state’s pandemic response. He previously served as the editor and publisher of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, where he restructured the newsroom to improve data-driven solutions journalism, national relevance, and digital reach. Dr. Edwards was provost at Southern Virginia University where he designed and implemented its system for assessment of student learning outcomes and institutional effectiveness. He has also served as president of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and vice president for academic affairs at the Institute for Humane Studies. He has taught courses in law and politics at Southern Virginia, George Mason, BYU, the American University of Armenia and U.C. Berkeley. He earned his doctorate in jurisprudence and social policy and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was an articles editor for the California Law Review. Dr. Edwards served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Cecil Poole on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He did his undergraduate studies in history at BYU. In addition to his work in academia, media and public service, Dr. Edwards has advised numerous community and civic boards. He and his wife Margo—who sings with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square—reside in Provo, Utah. They are the parents of four children and have three grandchildren. Dr. Edwards enjoys skiing, hiking, and does his honest best at yoga.

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