Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has named a Department of Workforce Services employee with seven years of legislative work under her belt as the department's new executive director.
Tani Pack Downing has worked for the department since January 2002. She first served as general counsel and director of the Division of Adjudication, which handles cases whenever a person or employer appeals rulings regarding unemployment insurance benefits, and then as an appointed member of the Workforce Appeals Board.
While Downing was in charge of the appeals division of the department, the U.S. Department of Labor named it the most improved in the Western region.
In June 2004, the Legislature's Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Interim Committee praised a turnaround in the adjudication and appeals division.
Before working for the department, Downing was an associate general counsel for the Legislature for seven years. There, she drafted bills and provided legal counsel in many areas, including public utilities, information technology, weapons, judiciary, tax, business, labor and economic development, according to information from the Governor's Office.
Huntsman praised Downing for having "already proven her ability and skills," saying he will rely heavily on her when she heads Workforce Services.
Downing said she looks forward to taking the position, calling Huntsman "a man of vision and integrity" and saying she is "honored to be asked to serve with him in this historic endeavor."