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ETSU’s Jennifer Adler joins Tennessee Leadership NEXT cohort

JOHNSON CITY— Dr. Jennifer Axsom Adler, assistant director of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program at East Tennessee State University, has joined 30 other mid-career professionals from across Tennessee to take part in the second class of Leadership Tennessee NEXT.
Leadership Tennessee is the only statewide leadership program focusing on Tennessee’s existing and emerging leaders that spans geographic and industry boundaries. The 2020 class represents diversity across the three Grand Divisions of Tennessee.
 “At Leadership Tennessee we want to build a network of problem solvers and engaged citizens to come together on issues of statewide importance, and Leadership Tennessee NEXT extends that network to the leaders of tomorrow,” said Cathy Cate, executive director of Leadership Tennessee. “Cohort members will be educated, engaged and inspired to come together across experiences and backgrounds to make Tennessee a better place, and we are incredibly excited about what the second cohort brings to the table as we continue to grow and expand this program.”
 Leadership Tennessee staff has responded to the COVID-19 outbreak with creativity and flexibility by organizing online events that bring together multiple classes of Leadership Tennessee and Leadership Tennessee NEXT.
 “I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to learn more about our great state of Tennessee,” Adler said. “One online event that made a strong impression on me was an inspiring conversation between former Governors Bredesen and Haslam on the current crisis through the lens of history.”
 Adler has also participated in an online “Living Room Conversation,” which placed participants in small groups to discuss Tennessee post-coronavirus. Living Room Conversations is a national non-profit that that seeks to revitalize civil discourse through conversation.
 “I found the experience so powerful that we recently convened a similar conversation for the Roan Program with current Scholars, Steering Committee members, and Roan alumni spanning the Classes of 2005 to 2020,” she said.
 As assistant director of the Roan, a position she has held since 2015, Adler oversees programming, leadership development and enrichment opportunities for Roan Scholars. The Roan Scholars Leadership Program empowers students to be leaders of excellence who will positively impact the ETSU campus, the region and the world.
 Adler is an alderman for the City of Kingsport and serves on the boards or committees of several organizations, including Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians, the Inventor Center, Leadership Kingsport and Keep Kingsport Beautiful.
 She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in religious studies from Vanderbilt University. Adler also teaches religious studies courses at ETSU.
 To learn more about Leadership Tennessee NEXT, visit www.leadershiptennessee.org/