The Utah Department of Public Safety recently honored Franz Kolb, the director of international trade and diplomacy at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development for his outstanding leadership and dedication to ensuring governors-led trade missions overseas were effectively planned and coordinated across his decades of service. 

“Franz is a tremendous asset to GOED,” says Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “His in-depth knowledge of foreign governments and ability to advance Utah’s economic development objectives internationally is extraordinary.”

Kolb has served in this capacity for over two decades, supporting five different Utah governors, including Norman Bangerter, Michael Leavitt, Olene Walker, Jon Huntsman Jr. and Gary R. Herbert.  As a premier diplomat, Kolb has arranged key meetings between Utah governors and many major political and business leaders as well as companies across the world, including His Majesty King Abdullah II. of Jordan, President Shimon Peres of Israel, Pope Francis Ist, President Tsai of Taiwan and many others. He also facilitated the visits of over 1,500 diplomats and delegations to Utah.

“Franz is a true statesman, and his genuine interest in promoting Utah is always first and foremost,” says Jess Anderson, the commissioner of the Utah Department of Public Safety. “He conducts himself with such class and dignity and embodies what Utah is all about. He continually looks for ways to enhance economic opportunity for Utah, while giving proper respect to the interests of public safety.”

In addition to facilitating security and protocol operations, Kolb also plays a crucial role in advancing business relations overseas with Utah companies. Through individual consultations and strategic analyses, he has assisted more than 3,000 companies in their international expansion efforts within his career. 

“It has been an honor to work closely with the Utah Department of Public Safety to create strong security protocols for governors and businesses to travel internationally and continually expand Utah’s diplomatic ties and trading partners overseas,” says Kolb. “Throughout the many trade missions I have coordinated, I am proud that each governor and delegation has been able to be safe and confident as they have sought to accomplish their objectives for the State of Utah during their time abroad.” 

The complexity of coordinating international relationships requires in-depth knowledge of foreign countries and cultures, as well as strong working relationships with high ranking officials. Both are attributes Kolb possesses in spades.