Senior Research Associate, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute
– Bridging the Divide: Engaging Rural Communities on Climate Change and the Energy Transition
Max Backlund is a senior research associate at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, where he specializes in regional economics and economic development. Mr. Backlund began his career at the Economic Development Corporation of Utah where he founded the Community Strategy Department, which provides economic data, strategic planning tools, and marketing products to more than 70 Utah cities and counties. He also developed Utah Community Builders, a foundation focused on social issues with a connection to the business community, at the Salt Lake Chamber. His work experience includes research into economic development, corporate recruitment and expansion, transportation, intergenerational poverty, mental health, family leave, child care, and immigration. Mr. Backlund earned a Juris Doctor and a Master of City and Metropolitan Planning degree from the University of Utah and a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.