John S. Tanner

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John S. Tanner Mormon leader

John Sears Tanner is a university administrator and professor and former Fulbright Scholar. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tanner was born in 1950 in Pasadena, California, and served an LDS mission in Brazil. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University and a PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

He was an assistant professor of English at Florida State University before joining the faculty at Brigham Young University. At BYU, he served as associate academic vice president for undergraduate and international education from 1992 to 1998 and was chair of the English department from 1998 to 2003. In 2004 he was named academic vice president, a position he held until his call in 2011 as a mission president.

He has published scholarly articles on religion and literature, philosophy and literature, education, and LDS topics. He has also published devotional essays and poetry. One of his hymns appears in the 1985 LDS hymnal (“Bless Our Fast, We Pray”).

Tanner was serving as mission president of the Brazil São Paulo South Mission when he was called as the first counselor in the Sunday School general presidency. He has served in numerous other Church callings including Primary teacher, seminary teacher, Gospel Doctrine teacher, stake Young Men president, bishop, and stake president. In May 2015, the BYU-Hawaii Board of Trustees announced that he would become president of Brigham Young University-Hawaii in July 2015.

Tanner is married to the former Susan Winder, who served as the Young Women general president from 2002 to 2008. They are the parents of five children.