NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam announced today that Katie Ashley will become his new director of legislation as well as chief advisor and strategist for legislative affairs for the term-limited governor's last legislative session in 2018.
Ashley, 31, who currently serves as deputy deputy director, will replace Warren Wells. He departs the administration at the end of November to join the government affairs team of insurer Unum in Chattanooga.
A Crockett County native, Ashley is one of Haslam's longest-serving staffers, starting out on his campaign in 2009. Following Haslam's 2010 election victory, she became a legislative liaison, handling education, one of the governor's top priorities.
She has served as deputy director of legislation since 2015.
"Katie knows this administration and the legislative process inside and out, and I am incredibly excited that she will take on this expanded role," Haslam said in a news release.
Calling Ashley "an integral piece to so much of what we've done around education in Tennessee," the governor said "her experience will serve the state well as we continue our efforts around jobs, education and efficient and effective government."
As deputy director of legislation, Ashley helped develop and implement the administration's legislative priorities and strategy while managing legislative liaison team across 23 departments.
According to the governor's office, Ashley has also been instrumental in the governor's Drive to 55 effort to boost college graduation as well as passage of the Tennessee Promise and FOCUS Acts.
Ashley said in a statement that she's admired Haslam "and his commitment to helping make Tennessee the best place to call home since I began working for him more than eight years ago.
"Having the chance to be part of his administration has given me the opportunity to grow and to work on some really amazing initiatives and priorities," she added. "I am truly looking forward to continuing to support the governor's vision for my home state in this new role."
She assumes her new post Dec. 1.