Joseph A. Cannon was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University (BA 1974) and the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU (JD with honors 1977). He was Articles Editor of the BYU Law Review and was the student graduation convocation speaker. After graduation he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Aldon J. Anderson, U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. He began his legal career as an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. He is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia.
Earlier in his career Cannon served as the Associate Administrator for Policy & Resource Management at the United States Environmental Protection Agency where he oversaw the budget preparation and implementation, the regulatory review process including engaging in the Office of Management and Budget regulatory review process. Subsequently Cannon served as Assistant Administrator for Air & Radiation, having been appointed by President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate. In that capacity he was responsible for implementing the Clean Air Act and enforcing its provisions. He has testified a number of times before various committees of Congress.
In his legal career Cannon was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro specializing in environmental, energy and administrative law. Later he became a partner in Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman where he specialized in those same areas as well as co-leading the firm’s public policy practice. He was also Of Counsel to Parr Brown Gee & Loveless in Salt Lake City. Cannon served as a Government Member and later as a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.
In addition to his legal career Cannon has served as President of Young Living Essential Oils, President & CEO of the Fuel Freedom Foundation, President of Millennium Bulk Terminals, and Editor of the Deseret News, a major daily newspaper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was CEO & Chairman of Geneva Steel (then NYSE: GNV) where he played a leading role in the acquisition of the Geneva Steel works from USX Corporation.
Cannon has served on a number of boards and committees including: member of the Unites States Holocaust Memorial Council (appointed by President George H. W. Bush), Trustee of the American Enterprise Institute, member of the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee, Empower America, the American Iron & Steel Institute, the International Iron & Steel Institute, the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Climate Institute (Founding Member), the National Advisory Council of the BYU Marriott School of Management. He has also served as Chairman of the Utah Republican Party and member of the Republican National Committee. Cannon has received the Torch of Liberty Award from the Anti-Defamation League.
Joe and his wife Jan have seven children, daughters and sons-in-law and a multitude of wonderful grandchildren.