Kris Cox

Executive Director, Utah Governor's Office of Management and Budget

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 received her Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology from Brigham Young University. She recently co-authored the book “Stop Decorating the Fish.” The book is a business fable that teaches an important lesson about how to affect positive change in the workplace. At the age of 11, Kris began to lose her vision due to a rare genetic eye disorder. All of Kris’ proceeds from the book will benefit the National Federation of the Blind.


Focus. Why Most Problems Don’t Need to be Solved. Organizations are plagued with initiatives that give us the illusion of progress but often do not measurably and significantly move the needle. Kris will share seven beliefs that drive people to misplace their focus and overlook the one problem that really matters. Conference attendees will learn both what to stop doing as well as what to start doing in order to achieve breakthrough results. The key takeaway from her keynote: If you can’t define the core problem, your strategies will have no long-term impact.