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Associate Director, Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, University of Tennessee

Dr. Katie A. Cahill is the Associate Director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the Director of the Leadership and Governance Program, and a courtesy post as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. Through education, research, and student initiatives, the Center works to promote a participatory democracy and public service grounded in the principles of civility and integrity.

At the Center, Cahill helped establish the TN Campus Civic Summit, now in its 3rd year, and has been a leader of the multi-organization coalition focused on voter education and engagement, known as Vols Vote. She created a speaking series, Leading Tennessee Forward, to provide a forum for candidates for statewide political office to share their visions of the state's future. She leads the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a new initiative funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, to provide economic development and leadership training to 40 regional fellows. She also serves as the principal investigator in the Healthy Appalachia project, a research program designed to help the Region identify workable strategies to improve health outcomes.

Her work has been covered in local and national news media, including on NPR's local WUOT affiliate, WBIR's evening news and Inside Tennessee program, Knoxville News Sentinel, The Tennessean, Reuters, and The New York Times, and C-SPAN.

Prior to working at the Center, Dr. Cahill was the Associate Director of the Purdue Institute for Civic Communication (PICC) at Purdue University, which was developed in partnership with C-SPAN. She holds a doctorate in political science from Purdue University.


  • –present
    Associate Director, Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, University of Tennessee