Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson’s intern seems overqualified

The non-traditional student is receiving BYU credit for her public service.

(Trent Nelson | Tribune file photo) Deidre Henderson speaks after being sworn as lieutenant governor at Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. Henderson's new intern is a political veteran that is very close to the new lieutenant governor.

The new intern in Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson’s office came with a lot of political experience.

She served as campaign manager for former Congressman Jason Chaffetz. She recently served as a state senator for eight years. And in 2020, she was part of a successful statewide campaign.

Overqualified? Perhaps, but she’s relying on the boss to recognize her abilities and treat her accordingly.

The new intern in Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson’s office is Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson.

“There are small things that she is doing on the side, but yes, in a sense, being the lieutenant governor is her internship,” said Brooke Scheffler, spokeswoman for the office said in an email to The Tribune. “She still has to write her weekly assessments and do projects.”

Henderson is currently working toward an undergraduate degree in history at Brigham Young University. She told NPR in an interview that because she married and had children young, she couldn’t finish her degree when she first went to school.

In 2014, two years after being elected to the Utah Legislature, Henderson returned to the classroom.

She didn’t have enough credits to fulfill an internship in the state Senate when she first started. The irony of the situation, she told National Public Radio, was both horrifying and funny.

Henderson is set to graduate this year, and she now has enough credits to serve as her own intern, with Gov. Spencer Cox as her supervisor. Scheffler said Henderson’s combined intern/lieutenant governor duties range from fetching the mail to tackling vaccine distribution.

“She is 100% in-person and is working almost 24 hours a day as she transitions into the role of second in command of the state,” Scheffler told The Tribune, calling Henderson’s work “quite incredible.”

Henderson told NPR she knew there were many other people in the same situation as her.

“I just decided to be open about it and to be transparent about it and to hopefully encourage other women or men who are in a similar situation, where they’re wanting to go back, but maybe feeling awkward about it, too, to help inspire them to just do it,” she said.