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Moral & Ethical Leadership


Apr 27, 2021

Kristen Cox is the world's leading authority on how to apply the Theory of Constraints to governments and non profits.  She is perhaps best known for her work as the former Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) for the State of Utah where she orchestrated a 35 percent improvement across Utah's $20B executive branch.

Prior to her role at GOMB, Kris led Utah's Department of Workforce Services (DWS) through the 2008/2009 economic recession where she was able to absorb a 60 percent increase in caseload (with her existing staff), become one of the top 10 in quality in the country, while giving $30M back to the state.

Kris is currently the Executive Director of the new Initiative on Government Improvement and an instructor at The University of Utah's Eccles School of Business.  

She is the co-author of two books, Stop Decorating the Fish and The World of Decorating the Fish along with Dr. Yishai Ashlag.  

In addition, Kristen sits on advisory boards, is a keynote speaker, consultant, trainer, and co-founder of The Fulcrum--her private, online, TOC training community.

She has worked for three governors, was a special appointee with the Department of Education in the Bush adminstration, ran for Lt. Governor for the State of Maryland with then Governor Ehrlich, and has run a non-profit.

In November 2018, Kris was selected as a Salt Lake Chamber Pathfinder Award recipient and was also honored as the Lifetime Achievement Gold Stevie Award winner for government and non-profit organizations. In 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 the 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. Kris and her family love the outdoors, especially hiking Utah’s mountains and trails. Her greatest outdoor adventures have been skydiving, paragliding, snow and water skiing, and hiking the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim.

Kris is married with two sons (one married, one in high school), and lives in the Salt Lake City area.