Olene Walker

Lived:November 15, 1930—November 28, 2015 (aged 85)
Career:Governor of Utah, 2003-2005
Lieutenant Governor of Utah, 1993-2003
Community development director for Utah, 1898-1992
Utah state representative, 1981-1989
Education:B.A., Brigham Young University
M.A., Stanford University
Ph.D., University of Utah

Olene Walker served as Utah’s fifteenth governor and first female governor. She was sworn into office on November 5, 2003, after the previous governor was nominated by President George W. Bush to lead the EPA.

Walker was born in Ogden, Utah, on November 15, 1930. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University in 1953, her master’s degree in political science from Stanford University in 1954, and her doctorate in education administration from the University of Utah in 1981. From 1970 to 1973, Walker was an education consultant for the U.S. Department of Education. From 1974 to 1979, she was director of the Salt Lake City School District Volunteer Program. She founded the Salt Lake Education Foundation in 1980 and was its director from 1980 to 1989.

Walker’s political career includes eight years in the Utah state legislature from 1981 to 1989, including a term as majority whip. From 1989 to 1992, Walker served as community development director for the state of Utah. She then served as lieutenant governor of Utah from 1993 until 2003, when she was sworn in as governor.

Outside of elected office, Walker founded the Salt Lake Education Foundation and served as its director and served as director of the Utah Division of Community Development, as well as chairing numerous commissions.

She died on November 28, 2015.