Home Local News  ‘Leadership Tennessee’ names new president/CEO

 ‘Leadership Tennessee’ names new president/CEO

by PRIDE Newsdesk
Alfred Degrafinreid II

‘Leadership Tennessee,’ the only statewide cross-sector community leadership program, announced that Alfred Degrafinreid II, an experienced leader in public administration and community relations, will serve as its new president/chief executive officer, effective July 1.

Degrafinreid, a lifelong Tennessean, brings over a decade of service in government administration, partnership building and advocacy efforts to this position. He has also worked in higher education administration, as well as in the public and private sectors.

“We are thrilled to welcome Alfred to the Leadership Tennessee team,” said David Golden, Leadership Tennessee board chair and Class III member. “His experience and broad connections will help elevate the organization’s mission and visibility and will allow us to build upon the tremendous growth we have experienced over the past nine years. Alfred’s leadership will be paramount as we continue to convene leaders dedicated to creating the best Tennessee possible.”

Most recently, Degrafinreid served as ‘associate vice chancellor’ for Local Government Relations and Community Partnerships at Vanderbilt University. Working closely with university leaders and policymakers, he oversaw the university’s engagement on a number of local issues, including the facilitation of zoning and land-use matters for the institution. Previously, he served as a senior-level public administrator at the local, state, and federal levels of government.

Degrafinreid will succeed Cathy Cate, Leadership Tennessee’s founding executive director and president. Under Cate’s direction, Leadership Tennessee quickly grew in membership and reputation, becoming the state’s preeminent leadership organization. In 2015, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding that enabled it to expand its program offerings. In addition to its Signature Program for established business, government, and community leaders, the organization also runs Leadership Tennessee Next, a leadership development program for emerging leaders. Today, Leadership Tennessee’s network includes more than 400 alumni and 2,000 yearly community contacts.

“As a Class VII graduate of Leadership Tennessee, it is an honor to lead this organization because of its commitment to promoting collaboration, non-partisan dialogue and creating opportunities to effectuate lasting change across the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee,” said Degrafinreid. “Cathy’s leadership has been transformative for Leadership Tennessee and its hundreds of graduates. I look forward to continuing this ripple effect to empower leaders and, in turn, accelerate progress across the state.”

Degrafinreid holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tennessee State University, a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law and is pursuing a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. He serves on the boards of the Convention Center Authority of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Rotary Club of Nashville, Alignment Nashville, and the Nashville St. Jude Executive Leadership Council.

Leadership Tennessee was designed to cultivate a network of business, nonprofit, education, and government leaders who are committed to addressing the state’s challenges and opportunities.

To learn more about Alfred Degrafinreid II and Leadership Tennessee, visit <www.leadershiptennessee.org/>.

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