With appointments announced late Wednesday, President-elect George Bush's top advisers for both foreign and domestic policy will be native Utahns - and his top "imagemaker" will be a Utahn, too.
That became official as Bush's chief of staff-designate John Sununu announced that Provo native and BYU graduate Roger Porter - a professor at Harvard - will be Bush's top domestic policy adviser.Sununu also announced that Steve Studdert - executive director of Bush's inauguration committee and a longtime Utah resident - will be a presidential assistant for "special activities and initiatives," which has been described as a post that will try to control the image that Bush portrays.
That follows an earlier announcement by Bush that Ogden native Brent Scowcroft will be his national security adviser - the top advisory position on foreign policy.
While Scowcroft has Cabinet-level status, Porter and Studdert will each officially be "assistants to the president" - the highest White House staff rank.
The appointments somewhat allayed earlier fears that Bush would not have close advisers familiar with the West and its concerns. Studdert, in an interview earlier this week before his appointment was announced, tried to assure reporters that Bush is concerned about the West.
"He's not a Westerner like Reagan, so he doesn't have as many Westerners around him," Studdert said. "But I assure you that a Utah presence will be felt and that Mr. Bush does care about the West."
Studdert said Thursday about his new appointment, "I am very pleased and honored by the vice president's trust.
"I will be in charge of organizing all White House public appearances and travel and ensuring that spoken and visual images are consistent with the theme of the administration."
He said he has also been instructed to promote volunteer service and may be given additional responsibilities later.
During the presidential campaign last year, Studdert was one of a team of imagemakers for Bush. They were criticized by Democrats as being too negative but praised by Republicans for helping to show Bush as the caring, independent man they say he truly is.
Studdert has said that even his current job of organizing inaugural activities deals with creating an image for Bush and his new administration.
Studdert, 40, was born in California but attended high school in Spanish Fork and also is a graduate of Brigham Young University.
At age 26, he became police chief in Brigham City and was the youngest police chief in Utah at the time. His life changed after reading book called "Advance Man," about people who prepare trips for the president.
It made him decide on a lobbying trip to Washington seeking grants for his police department. After seeking out acquaintances working for President Gerald Ford, Studdert joined Ford's staff as an advance man.
After Ford's defeat in 1976, Studdert returned to Utah where he worked in land development and also became a member of the Bountiful City Council. When Reagan ran for the presidency in 1980, Studdert began working as an advance man for him and continued as an assistant to him for many years.
For Reagan, Studdert organized the seven-nation economic summit in Montebello, Canada, and a 22-nation summit in Cancun, Mexico.
Studdert is on leave from his job as president of a consulting firm to organize the inauguration. He is also a stake president in McLean, Va., for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Porter, like Studdert, was also an aide to Ford and Reagan, where his work, according to the Washington Post, was considered "pragmatic and not particularly ideological" in policy development.
Porter, 42, was raised in Provo and also was graduated from BYU. After studying at Oxford University in England on a Rhodes scholarship, he earned master's and doctorate degrees from Harvard.
Porter was a White House fellow in the latter days of the Nixon presidency. When Ford became president, Porter remained as a special assistant to the president and executive secretary of the president's Economic Policy Board.
He was a deputy assistant to Reagan and director of the White House Office of Policy Development, one of the offices he will oversee in his new role.
Scowcroft, as earlier detailed when his appointment was announced, was raised in Ogden and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
He joined the Army Air Corps, but a plane crash when he was 23 years old forced him to leave flying and work on national security matters.
He rose to the rank of general in the Air Force. He was a top adviser to Nixon and also became Ford's national security adviser.