Jennifer Napier-Pearce serves as senior advisor and director of communications to Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox. Prior to joining the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Jennifer worked as an award-winning journalist, public speaker, innovator and national leader in journalism. As executive editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, she led the newspaper’s groundbreaking transition from a for-profit business to a nonprofit entity, the first newspaper in the U.S. to do so. Also during her tenure, Utah’s largest daily newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize in 2017. She joined The Tribune as a reporter in 2013; in 2016, she was named top editor, becoming the first Pacific Islander and the second woman to lead the newsroom.
Prior to her work at The Tribune, Jennifer served as news director, anchor, host and reporter at public radio stations KUER and KCPW. Her work has been featured on NPR, The Los Angeles Times, Utah Business Magazine and other platforms, and received many top awards from the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, Utah Broadcasters Association and other organizations. Other awards include honors from the Utah League of Women Voters, the Zions Bank Leadership in Journalism Award and the University of Utah Service to Journalism Award. She served as a member of The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board, JOA/Newspaper Agency Corp. board, Utah Media Coalition and the Utah Debate Commission, and participated in the inaugural 50 Women in Journalism cohort of Take the Lead sponsored by the Ford Foundation, Facebook Accelerator, NYU’s NewsLab, and ASNE’s Emerging Leaders Institute.
Jennifer has been an adjunct professor at the University of Utah and has guest lectured at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Pennsylvania and other campuses. Jennifer began her career as a staffer for the Salt Lake City Council and also worked as communications director at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Utah and a master’s degree in journalism from Stanford University.
The proud mother of two grown sons, she lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, Utah Supreme Court Justice John Pearce.