SALT LAKE CITY — Michele Mattsson has been elected chairwoman of the University of Utah’s board of trustees, effective immediately.

Mattsson, the first woman to hold the position, has served as vice chairwoman since 2009.

"Michele possesses a deep understanding of the institution and an unwavering commitment to our students," said U. President David W. Pershing.

Since 2001, Mattsson has been chief appellate mediator at the Utah Court of Appeals. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and a Juris Doctor from the U.

Mattsson has served in volunteer positions at the U. since 2005, including president of the Alumni Association, and on the boards of Red Butte Garden, Utah Museum of Fine Arts and KUED.

"I am honored to serve the state's flagship university, which has meant so much to me and my family," Mattsson said. "I am committed to ensuring that as the U. gains wider prominence for excellence in research and teaching, it will continue to offer students one of the nation's greatest values in higher education."

Mattsson takes the reins from Clark Ivory, who announced in January that he would resign to serve as a mission president in Romania and Moldova for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Trustee Phillip W. Clinger was elected as vice chairman. Clinger is retired from Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and has served the U. through the National Advisory Council, and on the boards of the Crimson Club, University Hospital, Bennion Center and Alumni Association.