Randy Boyd, president of the University of Tennessee System, has recommended Carey Whitworth as vice president for government relations and advocacy, pending approval by the Board of Trustees.
Whitworth currently serves as associate vice president for government relations and advocacy and has been with the UT System since 2012. If approved, she will succeed Anthony Haynes, who will depart the UT System in December to lead the Tennessee Municipal League.
“There is no one more dedicated and passionate about UT and our service to the state than Carey,” said Boyd. “She has nearly a decade of experience serving UT. She is exceptionally smart, a strategic thinker and tireless. I look forward to serving with her.”
The Office of Government Relations and Advocacy acts as the chief liaison between the university and federal, state and local government offices and legislative bodies. The office develops partnerships, policy and provides support to policymakers by engaging university experts, capabilities and resources. The university’s government relations office serves the interests of the university’s more than 52,000 students statewide, 11,860 faculty and staff members and more than 400,000 alumni in the U.S. and around the world to improve understanding and support for the university’s academic, research and outreach goals.
During her career, Whitworth has led a host of state, federal and strategic issues on behalf of the UT System. She has provided political and policy counsel to UT leadership, served in a spokesperson role before government officials and consulted on a number of media issues. In partnership with the UT Alumni Association, she built the university’s grassroots advocacy program, which was the first of its type in the state and has been recognized nationally under her leadership. Additionally, Whitworth serves as secretary to the UT Commission on Agriculture.
Whitworth holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from UT Knoxville, where she received the highest student honor, the Torchbearer Award. In 2019, Whitworth was selected as one of 17 leaders across the UT System to participate in the inaugural UT Executive Leadership Institute class. She is a graduate of Harvard University’s Institute for Executive Management as well as the Women in Education Leadership program. In 2017, she was recognized as one of Nashville’s “Emerging Leaders.” If approved by the Board of Trustees, Whitworth would be the first woman in UT history to lead UT government relations.
“The University of Tennessee is critical to the state’s success, and I am honored to advance its mission working alongside our elected officials. Our team will work tirelessly to advocate for university’s aspirational goals through strong public policy and partnerships benefitting the state, nation and world,” she said.