SALT LAKE CITY — Former GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. has been named chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

Huntsman, who served as governor of Utah and U.S. ambassador to China before getting into the presidential race last year, replaces his father as chairman of the family foundation that supports research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. 

Huntsman dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month after finishing third in the New Hampshire primary. His new position at the foundation is the first public role he's taken on since ending his campaign.

Huntsman was the founding president and CEO of the foundation. His father will serve as the foundation's chairman emeritus. 

"Jon comes to the foundation with a wealth of leadership experience," his father, Jon Huntsman Sr., said. "His unparalled international reputation and experience will greatly enhance the lifesaving work in which the foundation is engaged."

Lisa Riley Roche, Twitter: dnewspolitics