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New director of risk management & safety named at BYU

Brigham Young University Assistant to the President and General Counsel Steve Sandberg announced the hiring of Josh Thayn as the managing director of the Risk Management and Safety Department.


Thayn began his tenure on November 1.

“Josh brings management experience in higher education risk and safety as well as skills and knowledge from his time as a first responder,” Sandberg said. “Josh is a great fit for BYU. He is kind, humble and a hard worker. He will be a great addition to our campus community.”

Before coming to BYU, Thayn spent 10 years at Utah Tech University in multiple roles, most recently as the chief safety officer and risk office executive director. He also worked for Washington City Fire Department for eight years as a captain, firefighter and paramedic.

Thayn holds a master’s degree from Arizona State University in emergency management and homeland security and a bachelor’s degree from Utah Valley University in public emergency services management.

In addition to his formal education, Thayn has been recognized with numerous acknowledgements of excellence and professional certifications in public safety and emergency management.

He replaces Branden Wilson, who worked in the same role since 2019.

“Branden contributed in significant ways during his time at BYU, especially as he helped our campus community navigate the challenges of the pandemic,” Sandberg said. “We wish Branden the best in his role as director of risk management at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

BYU Risk Management and Safety aims to prevent harm, protect life and preserve sacred resources by identifying, evaluating and managing the university’s risks. To accomplish this, Risk Management and Safety provides a variety of functions for university units, including risk and insurance services, environmental management, industrial hygiene, academic and occupational safety, fire safety and emergency management.