Jon Huntsman, a two-time member of the board of directors of Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, is joining the automaker as vice chair for policy, effective May 3. Huntsman will remain on the board and is up for reelection at the annual meeting of shareholders on May 13.
In his new role, Huntsman will advise Ford President and CEO Jim Farley and Executive Chair Bill Ford as the company considers and implements strategic policy choices during a period of industry change, including the transition to zero-emission battery electric vehicles.
Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and former ambassador to Singapore, China, and Russia, will work closely with company teams across a range of disciplines, especially government relations; the Office of the General Counsel; and sustainability, environment, and safety engineering. He will represent Ford with certain government officials and influencers in the United States and other countries around the world, the company says.
“Global policy is hugely important to transforming Ford and unlocking great value for customers and all stakeholders,” says Farley. “Jon’s background, insights, and achievements are unrivaled — as an ambassador and trade representative, a state governor, and a public-company executive.”
Huntsman was first elected to Ford’s board of directors in 2012, resigning in September 2017 to become U.S. ambassador to Russia. He returned as a company director in October 2020.
In addition to being the senior U.S. diplomat to Russia for two years in the Trump Administration, Huntsman was ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011 under President Barack Obama, and ambassador to Singapore in the early 1990s under Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
In a series of trade assignments, including two years as deputy U.S. trade representative under President George W. Bush, Huntsman negotiated dozens of trade and investment agreements in Asia Pacific and Africa.
Huntsman served as governor of Utah from January 2005 to August 2009. Earlier, he was an executive of Huntsman Corp., a global chemicals company. Huntsman also is a member of the Chevron board of directors. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international politics.