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Gov. Bill Haslam to be New Chair of Wilson Center Board of Trustees

Contact: Ryan McKenna
Phone: (202) 691-4217
June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Wilson Center welcomes the White House’s intent to nominate former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam as the new Chair of its Board of Trustees.

“Governors have a huge impact on their states--and a range of issues to deal with from disasters to the economy and trade to security,” said Congresswoman Jane Harman, Wilson Center President, Director and CEO.  “Woodrow Wilson was a governor and we are fortunate that the White House has named former Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam as our new Chair.   He brings substantial business experience and is highly regarded for his leadership and bipartisanship. We are delighted to welcome him.”

The Wilson Center is one of the top 10 think tanks in the world, ranked the number one think tank for regional studies, and is the sixth best think tank in the United States, according to the University of Pennsylvania.

Bill Haslam was Governor for eight years, from 2011 – 2019, and was re-elected by the largest margin in modern Tennessee history. Prior to that, Haslam was the mayor of Knoxville, where he balanced eight consecutive city budgets.

One of Haslam’s priorities as Governor was education. He launched the “Drive to 55” an effort to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post-secondary degree. He is credited by the state with increasing the college going rate to a high of more than 62% in 2015.

Before entering public life, Haslam was the president of Pilot Flying J Truck Stops, with a reported 750 locations in 44 states.

“We are very excited to welcome Governor Haslam to Chair of the Wilson Center,” said Drew Maloney, Vice-Chair of the Wilson Center’s Board of Trustees. “The Center is widely recognized among its peers for regional expertise, collaboration, and deep scholarship. The Governor’s experience, reputation, leadership skills and intellectual curiosity will help us become even better.”

Haslam succeeds former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as Chair.

The Wilson Center, chartered by Congress in 1968 as the official memorial to President Woodrow Wilson, is the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for the policy community.

 Notes to editors:

  1. The Wilson Center provides a strictly nonpartisan space for the worlds of policymaking and scholarship to interact. By conducting relevant and timely research and promoting dialogue from all perspectives, it works to address the critical current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world.