Capitol & State

Former Idaho GOP leader, current Lt. Gov. candidate takes role at Boise State

Steve Yates arriving in Taiwan in early December 2016. At the time he was asked by reporters about his role in arranging a phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to then President-elect Donald Trump. Yates had spoken to the Trump transition team about Taiwan but did not directly arrange the call.
Steve Yates arriving in Taiwan in early December 2016. At the time he was asked by reporters about his role in arranging a phone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to then President-elect Donald Trump. Yates had spoken to the Trump transition team about Taiwan but did not directly arrange the call. The Taiwan News

Former Idaho Republican Party Chairman Steve Yates says he’ll officially kick off his candidacy for lieutenant governor in “a few weeks.” In the meantime, he’s picked up another consulting gig of sorts to go with his overseas business advisory work.

The Idaho Falls resident was named a Boise State University “Professor of the Practice” this week, attached to the School of Public Service and the College of Business and Economics. His focus will be on international business and politics. BSU says the special program “identifies talented and accomplished business, scientific and artistic leaders from around the country and beyond and invites them to bring world-class experience and excitement to Boise State students.”

Yates’s position is unpaid. A release announcing the appointment said he “will lead a team in researching, producing and publishing think pieces in leading national media outlets.”

“It’s something that I’ve actually been hoping to be able to do for some time,” Yates said Friday. “I have lots of public policy and consulting in my work portfolio.... It’s not the classic university professor role.”

Yates stepped down as state GOP chair in April as he weighed his bid for office. His consulting firm assesses political risk and opportunity and tracks political developments in the U.S. and select foreign countries.

An Asia affairs expert and fluent Mandarin speaker, he became an assistant national security adviser under former Vice President Dick Cheney following work as a China expert at the Heritage Foundation.

“His role at Boise State will help build international connections and increase public awareness of the impacts of global events in the United States, and especially in Idaho,” School of Public Service Dean Corey Cook said in a statement.

Yates is one of five announced Republican candidates for lieutenant governor. The others are State Sen. Marv Hagedorn of Meridian, former State Rep. Janice McGeachin of Idaho Falls, Rep. Kelley Packer of McCammon, and 2014 Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Steve Pankey of Twin Falls.

Bill Dentzer: 208-377-6438, @DentzerNews

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