Lipscomb University’s College of Leadership & Public Service in partnership with WRKN News 2 presents “Leading Through COVID,” a virtual panel discussion featuring local and state experts who are managing the response to the pandemic, as the 2020 Don R. Elliott Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 29.

The panel discussion features four experts who have been on the frontlines of Nashville and Tennessee responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Featured in the discussion are

Dr. Alex Jahangir, a surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and chair of the Metropolitan Board of Health of Nashville and Davidson County;

Dr. James Hildreth president and CEO of Meharry Medical College and immunologist;

Mike Krause, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission; and

Mark Ezell, commissioner of Tennessee Department of Tourist Development Economic who was appointed by Tennessee governor Bill Lee to lead the state’s Economic Recovery Group to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy.

“Leading through COVID” begins at noon CST and will be broadcast live right here on The virtual event is FREE and open to the public.

This event will be moderated by Good Morning Nashville’s Nikki Burdine!

About the panelists

Dr. Alex Jahangir is an orthopedic surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who serves trauma patients from across middle Tennessee. Jahangir serves as an associate chief of staff at Vanderbilt University Hospital and as the director for the Division of Orthopaedic Trauma at VUMC. A Nashville native, Jahangir is a co-founder of the Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Institute Center for Health Policy and the author of over 90 publications. He also serves as chair of the Metropolitan Board of Health of Nashville and Davidson County.

Dr. James Hildreth is the president and CEO of Meharry Medical College. He is a nationally renowned immunologist whose research was funded by the National Institute for Health for decades. He is internationally recognized for his work demonstrating the importance of cholesterol and specialized membrane regions containing cholesterol in HIV infection. Hildreth has published more than 90 scientific articles and is the inventor on 11 patents based on his research. A protein discovered by Dr. Hildreth as a graduate student was the basis for an FDA-approved drug (Raptiva) that was used to treat psoriasis.

Mike Krause serves as the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation. Prior to assuming this role, he served as the founding executive director of the Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55, where he coordinated the launch of the nation’s first free community college program and an array of other programs focused on increasing state higher education attainment. Krause also served for eight years in the U.S. Army and Tennessee Army National Guard, where he completed three combat tours with the 101st Airborne Division and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Mark Ezell is responsible for the growth strategy and overall branding of the state’s global tourism footprint in his role as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Working alongside strategic partners, he is responsible for national campaigns that reinforce Tennessee as a world-class destination while building better opportunities for citizens through revenue and job creation. Prior to his DOTD appointment, Ezell worked his way from entry-level to eventually serve in a range of senior roles at both his family-owned business Purity Dairies, Inc., as well as Dean Foods, a Fortune 500 Company where he focused on brand development and achieved record profitability. Ezell is a Lipscomb University graduate.

Don R. Elliott Distinguished Lecture Series

The Don R. Elliott Distinguished Lecture Series is designed to expose the Lipscomb University campus and the surrounding community to persons of influence in one or more issues of contemporary debate or discussion, with a preference for issues related to economics or political science. An endowment established at Lipscomb by the Don R. Elliott Foundation provides primary funding for the Elliott Distinguished Lecture. The lecture series is named in memory of Don R. Elliott, a native of Kerr, Arkansas, who was a Professor of Economics and Political Science at Little Rock University, Randolph-Macon College and Vanderbilt University. He founded Don Elliott and Associates, a fundraising consulting firm that directed campaigns for Lipscomb University and a host of other universities, colleges and private schools.

The Elliott Lecture was presented for the first time in 2010, featuring Elaine Kamarck as its inaugural speaker. Kamarck is a lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the founding director of the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings Institute. A second lecture in 2012 was presented by Reagan White House veteran and Fox News commentator, James P. Pinkerton. Other featured Elliott Lecture speakers have included Thomas Friedman, New York Times foreign affairs columnist and author; National Public Radio’s Nina Totenberg; Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger, “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former secretary general of NATO and prime minister of Denmark; and New York Times best selling author Jonathan Haidt in 2019.

Lipscomb University’s College of Leadership & Public Service

Lipscomb University’s College of Leadership & Public Service is where Tennessee turns for leadership. Over the past decade, Lipscomb University has built a group of institutes that serve the common good and support innovative solutions. These institutes are housed in this college and include the Institute for Conflict Management, the Institute for Law, Justice & Society, the Institute for Sustainable Practice and the Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership. Each offers graduate degree programming in addition to other initiatives including certificate programs, Rule 31 training and more. The college is also home to signature program Leadership Tennessee. This unique initiative provides collaborative learning and dialogue spanning the state’s three grand divisions, issue-specific education for demonstrated leaders, diverse representation of participants and opportunities to affect change. The college offers programs of study in pre-law, public service, nonprofit management, corporate social justice, government, sustainability, leadership and public service and urban studies.

For more information, click here.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Community Calendar