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Senator Bill Frist, MD 

Founder & Board Chairman, SCORE

Senator Frist is a special partner at healthcare firm Cressey & Co. and founder/partner of Frist-Cressey Ventures. A former heart and lung transplant surgeon, he served Tennessee in the US Senate for 12 years (as US Senate Majority Leader from 2003 to 2007), and is the voice of the podcast “A Second Opinion.” (Asecondopinionpodcast.com). Frist currently serves on the boards of Teladoc Health, Accolade, Select Medical, SmileDirect Club, and GSAH-N, as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Nature Conservancy. He cofounded Aspire Health, formerly the nation’s largest provider of nonhospice, community-based palliative care. Frist majored in health policy and international relations at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs before graduating from Harvard Medical School and completing surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and a transplant fellowship at Stanford. He went on to found and direct the Vanderbilt Multi-Organ Transplant Center. Frist founded and now leads the global health nonprofit Hope Through Healing Hands, as well as the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE), and NashvilleHealth, a collective impact organization focused on improving the health and well-being of Middle Tennesseans.  

Dr. Celeste Carruthers 

William F. Fox Distinguished Professor of Labor Economics in the Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee, Knoxville 

Dr. Carruthers’ research centers on education policy with crossovers into public economics, labor economics, and economic history. Her recent and ongoing projects examine career and technical education, the effect of financial aid on college choices, and the consequences of segregated schools in the US during the early 20th century. Carruthers teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public expenditure analysis, causal inference, and econometrics. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Economics of Education Review, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a member of the CTE Research Network at the American Institutes for Research, a Baker Expert at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, and a former faculty advisor to several fellows in the Harvard Graduate School of Education Strategic Data Project. Before arriving at UT in 2009, Carruthers earned a PhD in economics from the University of Florida, an MA in economics from the University of New Hampshire, and a BA in economics and accounting from Appalachian State University. 

Dr. Joseph Fuller

Professor of Management Practice in General Management and Co-Leader of Managing the Future of Work, Harvard Business School

Dr. Fuller helps lead the Managing the Future of Work initiative at Harvard and currently teaches in the MBA program. A 1981 graduate of the school, Fuller was a founder and first employee of the global consulting firm, Monitor Group, now Monitor-Deloitte. He served as Chief Executive Officer of its commercial consulting operations until 2006 and remained a Senior Advisor to the firm until its acquisition by Deloitte in 2012. During his three decades in consulting, Fuller worked with senior executives and policymakers on a variety of issues related to corporate strategy and national competitiveness. He has deep experience in industries with a heavy reliance on technology — such as life sciences, ICT and the defense and aerospace industries. He is currently researching the evolution of the role of CEOs and the C-suite in public companies.

David Golden 

CEO of East Tennessee State University Research Corporation and the Allen and Ruth Harris Chair of Excellence in the East Tennessee State University College of Business and Technology 

Golden retired in 2019 from Eastman Chemical Company. Prior to joining Eastman in 1995, he worked with the international law firm of Hunton & Williams (now Hunton Andrews Kurth). Golden holds a BS in accounting and a JD from Brigham Young University. He is a co-founder of ReOrigin, a science-based firm that helps companies, cities, and professional service firms understand climate risk and form climate strategy. He serves on the boards of Ballad Health, SCORE, the Niswonger Foundation, STREAMWORKS, Music for All, and the Marine Advanced Technology Education Inspiration for Innovation. His other public service includes serving on the advisory boards of the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy, the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance, and the Tennessee Business Court Rules Commission. Golden recently completed his service on the inaugural Board of Trustees of East Tennessee State University, is an alumnus of Leadership Tennessee, and a frequent speaker on leadership, and education topics. 

JD Hickey 

Chief Executive Officer at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee 

As CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Hickey is responsible for aligning the mission, values, and strategic goals for the state’s largest health plan. With both a medical and legal background, he brings a unique perspective to guiding the leadership team responsible for daily service to millions of members. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Hickey served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for BlueCross and as President and CEO of BlueCare Tennessee, a Medicaid managed-care subsidiary. Before joining BlueCross in 2011, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company and served as director of TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program. Hickey serves on the board of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the National Institute of Health Care Management, and the SCORE. He holds a BA from Colgate University, a medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine, and a JD from Duke University School of Law. 

Jason Kloth 

President & CEO of Ascend Indiana 

Kloth joined the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) in 2015 and serves as founding President & CEO of Ascend Indiana, CICP’s sixth initiative that focuses on talent and workforce development across Indiana. He leads the development and implementation of the Ascend Network, Ascend Services, and offers thought leadership to ensure that Indiana is a place of economic opportunity for all. Prior to launching Ascend, Kloth served as Deputy Mayor for the city of Indianapolis and held a variety of leadership positions at Teach For America. He began his career teaching sixth grade in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where his peers elected him Teacher of the Year. An active community volunteer, Kloth serves on the boards of Ivy Tech Community College and UNCF. He holds a BA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  

Dr. Chauncy Lennon 

Vice President for Learning and Work and Senior Strategy Advisor, Lumina Foundation 

Dr. Lennon leads Lumina’s community college strategy to equitably expand access to high-quality short-term credentials and associate degrees. He joined Lumina in 2018 after nearly five years as Managing Director for Workforce Strategy at JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he drove the firm’s $350 million investment in philanthropic initiatives. At the Ford Foundation, he managed portfolios that were related to economic advancement and workforce development. Lennon serves on the board of the City University of New York Research Foundation and is a board observer of two education technology firms: Beam, a cloud-based platform providing equitable and fast delivery of education and public benefits programs, and Noodle, the nation’s fastest growing online higher education network. Lennon is a graduate of Williams College and holds a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University. He taught urban studies at Barnard College and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. 

David Mansouri 

President & CEO, SCORE 

Mansouri sets the strategic vision for SCORE, guides its leadership team, and builds and strengthens partnerships with leaders in Tennessee and across the nation. During more than a decade of work in education, he has also served as SCORE’s Director of Advocacy and Communications and Executive Vice President. In addition to his work at SCORE, Mansouri serves on the board of directors of the Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network and the Memphis Education Fund and is a member of the Practitioner Council of the Hoover Education Success Initiative at Stanford University. Before joining SCORE in 2010, he worked for the late US Senator Fred Thompson and Congressman Zach Wamp. He is an alumnus of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship and Leadership Tennessee. Mansouri also previously served on the founding board of Nashville Classical Charter School and on the board of directors of the Association of Rice Alumni. A Tennessee native and product of Tennessee’s public schools, he is a graduate of Rice University and received an MBA with honors from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. 

Lane McBride

Managing Director & Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group

McBride currently leads the North American Education, Employment, and Welfare team at BCG. For the past 15 years, his work at BCG has focused on the education sector, spanning early education to higher education, public systems, private foundations, UN organizations, global and national NGOs, companies serving the sector, and investors. Over the past decade, his work related to Tennessee education has included the Memphis-Shelby school district merger (planning and implementation phases), Tennessee’s successful Preschool Development Grant application, early literacy efforts in Memphis/Shelby County, Chattanooga 2.0, BlueSky Institute, and multiple statewide efforts with SCORE. McBride leads BCG’s relationship with global social impact partner Teach For All and is a board member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. He holds a BA in government from the University of Virginia.

Dr. Stephen Moret

President & CEO, Strada Education Foundation

During his career, Moret has crafted public-private partnerships and higher education-workforce development programs that have enabled thousands to secure better jobs. He previously served as president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), where he led Virginia’s successful state-and-local team bid for Amazon’s HQ2. At VEDP, Moret collaborated with university presidents and state leaders to envision, design, and implement Virginia’s $1.1-billion Tech Talent Investment Program to double the number of degrees in computer science conferred each year and created the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus. Moret served as secretary of Louisiana Economic Development (LED) and created two of the top-ranked state workforce development programs in the country: LED FastStart and the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, where his research focused on the links between higher education and the labor market. Moret recently served as a member of the Harvard University Skills and Employability Task Force.

Cheryl Oldham 

Vice President of Education Policy at the US Chamber of Commerce and Senior Vice President of the Education and Workforce Program of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation 

In her role with the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Oldham serves on the senior leadership team informing strategic direction in addition to leading education and workforce strategy. She sets the vision and manages a multimillion-dollar program of work around early childhood education and childcare, K-12 education, and postsecondary education, skills, and training. She has experience in public policy development and implementation as well as project management and government relations. Her previous experience includes eight years in President George W. Bush’s administration, serving as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the US Department of Education. Oldham was appointed executive director of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education and served on the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia. She serves on the Achieve Workforce Fund Advisory Board and Strategic Education Inc.’s Hire Board. Oldham received her JD from St. Mary’s University School of Law and a BA from Texas Christian University.  

Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds 

Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education 

Reynolds’ career reflects a deep commitment to education policy and advocacy, including school accountability, college and career pathways, and public and private school choice. Prior to taking the role of Commissioner at TDOE, Reynolds served as Vice President of Policy at ExcelinEd. She also served as Deputy Legislative Director for then-Governor George W. Bush, Special Assistant in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs for US Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Regional Representative for US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, and Chief Deputy Commissioner at the Texas Education Agency. Reynolds earned her undergraduate degree from Southwestern University.   

Tara Scarlett 

President & CEO of the Scarlett Family Foundation and Chair of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission 

Scarlett has been an active advocate for education reform for 20 years and has served as a board member of the Scarlett Family Foundation since its founding in 2005. She has an extensive track record in the private sector track for innovative leadership and a proven ability to bring people together to achieve results. Under Scarlett’s leadership and direction, the Scarlett Family Foundation has made a major and meaningful impact on early literacy, public education, and college and career readiness and success across Middle Tennessee. She serves as Chairwoman of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and of Tennessee’s Education and Innovation Commission. Scarlett also serves as a board member for Tennesseans for Quality Early Education, Communities in Schools of Tennessee, and SCORE. Previously, Scarlett held marketing leadership roles for The Coca-Cola Company North America and Mars Petcare North America. She attended Scales Elementary, is a graduate of Harpeth Hall School, holds a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University, and a master of education policy and leadership from American University. 

Deniece Thomas 

Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development 

Thomas started her career with the state of Tennessee in 2007, working in the Clarksville American Job Center. Over the years, she has risen through the ranks of the department as a Director, Assistant Administrator, Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner. Thomas is a member of the National Association of State Agencies, the previous chair of the Employment and Training Committee, and a past member of both the Veterans Committee and the National Apprenticeship Workgroup. She also serves as the State Workforce Liaison for the National Governor’s Association and as a member of the Tennessee Advisory Council on Intergovernmental Relations. A 2014 Graduate of LEAD Tennessee Alliance 5 and Leadership Tennessee Class VIII, she holds an MA in civic leadership from Lipscomb University and a BA from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.  

Ted Townsend 

President & CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber 

A native Memphian with years of experience in economic development and government relations, Townsend joined the Chamber as Chief Economic Development Officer in 2020. During his tenure, Townsend has leveraged data to build a compelling narrative leading the region to historic wins and its best year ever for economic development in 2021. One of those record-breaking wins was the single largest private investment in Tennessee history: Ford and SK Innovation’s $5.6 billion, 6,000-job BlueOval City electric vehicle and battery manufacturing campus. Prior to joining the Chamber, Townsend served as the first-ever Chief Economic Development and Government Relations Officer at the University of Memphis (UofM). He has held various roles at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, including Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer. Before entering public service, he was co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Memphis-based arGentis Pharmaceuticals Inc. Townsend holds a degree in organizational leadership from UofM and is a graduate of Leadership Tennessee and the Leadership Memphis Executive Program.   

Anne Wicks 

Ann Kimball Johnson Director of Education and Opportunity at the George W. Bush Institute 

Wicks develops and oversees the policy, research, and engagement work of GWBI’s Education and Economic Growth teams, which focus on accountability, literacy, pathways to opportunity, immigration, and economic mobility. She currently serves as a board member for Dallas Afterschool and Instruction Partners. Before joining the Bush Institute, Wicks served as an Associate Dean at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Her portfolio included communications, advancement, and a variety of special projects, including the launch of Ednovate Charter Schools. Over her career, she held roles at Teach for America, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, and Stanford University. Wicks holds a BA in American studies and an MA in education from Stanford University as well as an MBA from the University of Southern California. A former captain of Stanford’s women’s volleyball team, she was part of three national championship teams, two as a player and one as an assistant coach. She is the parent of a public school student.