Philip N. Bredesen
State of Tennessee
Governor; Mayor; Businessman
Public Affairs, Business, and Administration
Public Affairs and Public Policy
Philip N. Bredesen served as the former 48th Governor of Tennessee (2003-2011). His tenure was marked by advances in education and healthcare, economic development initiatives, strong fiscal management, and a bipartisan approach to governing. Additionally, he established a statewide pre-K program, improved teacher salaries, installed rigorous new content standards, and introduced the use of objective student performance data for teacher evaluation. Improvements were recognized by the federal Race to the Top competition when Tennessee became one of two states to win the first round. Bredesen led changes in Tennessee's higher education system, including establishing a strong academic relationship between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, clarifying and rationalizing the course structure in the community college system, and changing the state's funding formula for its institutions of higher education to provide strong incentives for student retention and college completion. In healthcare, he established a broad children's insurance program as well as innovative small-business and individual health insurance offerings. Instituted successful public health initiatives, including efforts that achieved substantial decreases in infant mortality and teenage smoking. He successfully recruited Nissan's North American corporate headquarters, Volkswagen's U.S. manufacturing operations, numerous corporate headquarters, and multibillion-dollar investments in alternative energy to his state. Also, Bredesen is responsible for fixing an out-of-control Medicaid program, establishing large financial reserves, successfully navigating the 2008 recession and the achievement in 2010 of an AAA bond rating. During his term, he preserved 350,000 acres of ecologically sensitive land. He was also the former Mayor of Nashville (1991-1999), but is best known for starting in his home a health care management business that, in under a decade, became a successful public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.He was elected to the American Academy in 2012 ans is a member of the Academy Trust.