Main Navigation


Journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari — imprisoned for 118 days while covering the 2009 election for Newsweek — was the keynote speaker at Hinckley Institute's anniversary event.

Prominent state, national and global leaders joined University of Utah students and alumni on May 13 to celebrate the Hinckley Institute of Politics’ 50th anniversary.

For five decades, the Hinckley Institute has championed student and community civic engagement. The past 10 years have been marked by explosive growth—particularly on a global level. The Hinckley Institute now sends student interns to 212 local, national and global host offices spanning 61 countries.

The Hinckley Institute was established in 1965 through the generous bequest of Robert H. Hinckley and was one of the first programs of its kind in the nation. Since its founding, the Hinckley Institute has provided affordable internships to over 6,000 students.

“The Hinckley Institute has played a pivotal role for strengthening Utah politics, government and policies since its creation. It has also become increasingly important to our nation and world over the past decade as University of Utah students continue to expand their presence,” said Kirk Jowers, the institute’s director.

Each year, the Hinckley Institute holds more than 100 acclaimed public forums featuring local, national and global figures. Past Hinckley Forum guests include Bill Clinton, Mitt Romney, Malcolm Gladwell, Thomas Friedman, Brent Scowcroft, Susan Rice and John McCain.

A significant number of local and national leaders are former Hinckley Institute students, including Karl Rove, U.S. Congressman Rob Bishop, former State Senator Pat Jones and Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

In recognition of the Hinckley Institute’s storied history and increasing global presence, the 50th anniversary gala featured remarks by esteemed journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari. Bahari was imprisoned in Tehran for 118 days while covering the 2009 Iranian election for Newsweek. He was arrested for alleged espionage four days after his satirical appearance on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.” Bahari’s memoir of his solitary confinement, “Rosewater,” was a New York Times’ best-seller and was recently adapted into a film directed by Jon Stewart.