Utah Marriage Commission Members

Utah Marriage Commission History

The Utah Marriage Commission began in 1998 as part of the Governor’s office. It was placed in the Department of Workforce Services in 2004. In 2013 it was formally put in statute and transferred to the Department of Human Services until 2021, when it was transferred to be hosted by Utah State University. The Commission’s work has been supported with TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) funds. A major purpose of TANF is to increase the number of children growing up in stable, healthy, two-parent families. The Commission is directed by a group of volunteer experts appointed by the Governor.

Voting Members

Melissa BallardRep. Melissa Ballard
 Appointment: 5/2019
Commission Chair
Utah State House of Representatives
Matthew TownsendDr. Matthew Townsend
Appointment: 7/2020
Commission Vice Chair 
Townsend Relationship Center
Shawn Christiansen Brad Barnett
Appointment: 4/2022 
Commission Member 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family Services
Shawn ChristiansenDr. Shawn Christiansen 
Appointment: 1/2020 
Commission Member 
Dean of College of Education | SUU 
Bill Hulterstrom
Bill Hulterstrom
Appointment: 1/2021
Commission Member 
President and CEO, United Way of Utah County
John JohnsonSen. John Johnson
Appointment: 4/2021
Commission Member
Utah State Senate
Mike KennedySen. Mike Kennedy
Appointment: 4/2021
Commission Member
Utah State Senate
Douglas LeCheminant Rep. Carol S. Moss 
Appointment: 5/2013
Commission Member 
UT House of Representatives  
Julie Nelson
Julie Nelson 

Appointment: 8/2019
Commission Member
Professor of Family Science | UVU 

Lola Shipp
Lola Shipp 
Appointment: 8/2019
Commission Member 
Utah Board of Education
Todd Weiler
Sen. Todd Weiler
Appointment: 1/2020 
Commission Member 
Utah State Senate

Advising Members

Dr. Alan Hawkins
Professor of Family Studies, BYU

Allen Christensen (Honorary Member)

Dr. Brian Higginbotham
Associate VP, USU Extension
Ex-Officio
Cassandra Eggertsen
Stronger Families Program Facilitator
Crystal Painter
at SLC Catholic Diocese
Dr. David Schramm
Professor of Family Life, USU Extension
Ex-Officio

Jacalyn Leavitt
Honorary Chair
Dr. Mark O. Jarvis
Professor of Family Life, SLCC

Naomi Brower
Professor, USU Ext. Weber
Nate Bagley
Growth Marriage

Dr. Paul Schvaneveldt
Presidential Distinguished Professor, WSU
Dr. Stephen Duncan
Professor of Family Studies, BYU

Staff

Camilla ReesCamilla Rees
Coordinator

camillarees@usu.edu
marriagecommission@usu.edu
(435) 238-3089

Kiersten WilsonKiersten Wilson
Director of Strategic Initiatives

kiersten.wilson.usu.edu
(435) 279-5519


The host organization is determined by the legislature, while members of the Utah Marriage Commission are appointed by the Governor and elected officials. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed by the Commission and its members do not necessarily reflect the views of the host organization. Utah State University’s host responsibilities are limited as defined in (2021) H.B. 55. 63M-14-206. Utah State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution and is committed to a learning and working environment free from discrimination, including harassment. Click here to view USU’s non-discrimination notice.