Tennessee Legislative Leaders Academy
James O. Naifeh, commonly known as Jimmy Naifeh, announced his retirement as the longest serving House Speaker in the Tennessee Legislature in 2008. Speaker Naifeh served from 1991-2009 in the capacity as Speaker of the House.
In January 2009, the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership (NCEL) at the UT Institute for Public Service (IPS) launched the first-ever Tennessee Legislative Leaders Academy for newly elected state legislators. The orientation is a three-day training program that helps newly elected representatives and senators in the Tennessee General Assembly to acclimate in their new positions more easily and to network with all members in a non-partisan manner. In 2013, the NCEL invited the Baker School to partner with them in executing the program. Since its inception, over 100 members of the Tennessee House and Senate have participated in the training and continue to be active as alumni members of this longstanding NCEL program.
Workshops feature nationally renowned speakers who focus on a wide variety of topics such as:
- The transition from campaigning to governing;
- A national perspective on the states and state budgeting;
- Tennessee’s revenue structure and budget;
- Economic development trends; and
- Financing of education and health care.
To cap this experience, former governors and state legislators share their own diverse, personal experiences in a roundtable discussion pertaining to civility and the importance of having positive, working relationships during sessions of the General Assembly.