Clark G. Gilbert

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Photo courtesy Michael Lewis/BYU-Idaho

Clark G. Gilbert is a business and academic administrator and professor. On April 13, 2015, he assumed the responsibility of president of BYU-Idaho. In February 2017, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the creation of a global higher-education organization, Brigham Young University–Pathway Worldwide (BYU–PW). The institution will have responsibility for all online certificate and degree programs offered by the Church Educational System (CES). Gilbert, was named to oversee this new organization. BYU–Pathway Worldwide will be based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and will begin operating May 1, 2017.

Immediately prior to his appointment as president of BYU-Idaho, Gilbert was the CEO of the Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media and was an executive of the Church-owned media companies.

Gilbert grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is the oldest of the four children of Paul and Susan Gilbert. He served as a missionary to Kobe, Japan. He earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brigham Young University, his master’s from Stanford University, and his PhD in business administration from Harvard. He taught at the Harvard Business School for five years. He was an adviser to the American Press Institute’s Newspaper Next project.

While at Harvard, Gilbert’s dean, Kim B. Clark, told him to pray about his research because he believed it had a purpose “in the Lord.”[1]. Gilbert had no idea then that his research on digital innovation and the newspaper industry would eventually lead him to an assignment with the Deseret News.

Kim B. Clark was appointed president of BYU-Idaho and left Harvard. One year after his departure, Gilbert also left Harvard and came to BYU-Idaho. His responsibilities included working with the student leadership programs, and later working in the academic office where he had responsibility over the student-centered learning model. He helped create two programs—building online curriculum with remote online faculty and the Pathway Program—both intended to extend the reach of a Church education. BYU–Pathway Worldwide has its roots in BYU–Idaho's Pathway program, which began in 2009 with 50 total students at three pilot sites in Idaho, Arizona, and New York. The program has since expanded to nearly 500 sites in 50 countries and has served 57,000 students.

While he was at BYU–Idaho, he was approached to be a part of the planning for the future of Church-owned media. In his research at Harvard, he had studied transitions in industries, particularly as they change with new technology. “I looked at a lot of industries early in my research, but eventually I came to focus on media and the newspaper industry,” he said. “It is really interesting how the Lord directs your path. I really stumbled into the topic because it was a good place to study, not knowing that one day I would be asked to lead a media company and help manage such a transition.”[2]

Gilbert and his wife, Christine, are the parents of eight children. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.