In early 2011, Michael K. Young, President of the University of Utah, was named the President of the University of Washington. U of W Chairman of the Board, Herb Simon, called Young "a prominent scholar, experienced public servant and diplomat, and exceptional academic leader."  Dr. Young is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church.
Young was the dean of the University of Washington's law School, before becoming U of U president in 2004. Before that, Young was a professor for about 20 years at Columbia University and served as international human rights advocate. Young is a legal scholar of Japan — where he served a mission for the LDS Church. UW has one of the nation's most highly regarded Japanese studies programs.
Young effected many initiatives while he served as President of the University of Utah, including an extensive building program, the U of U's move to the Pac10 Athletic Conference, helping the University to be an economic catalyst in the state. He spearheaded the USTAR research initiative and fundraising that not only has the U. well-ahead of its goal in its current $1.2 billion capital campaign, but also has moved $1 billion of campus building projects — adding 2 million square feet — forward with minimal state funding.