Leadership & Governance Program

About Us:

We strive to continue Senator Baker’s legacy as a national and international leader who was known for his integrity, civility, and bipartisanship. The program seeks to provide a forum for exploring democracy and promoting leadership in public service.


To foster resilient and vibrant communities by providing current and future leaders with cutting-edge research and tools for effective governance.


Engaged and flourishing communities and visionary servant-leaders.

Through research, teaching, mentorship, and engagement, the program works to foster thoughtful leaders empowered to address the challenges facing their communities. These efforts are led by our staff and faculty fellows.

Initiatives within the Leadership & Governance Program include:

Research and Engagement

  • Appalachia Action Lab
  • Appalachian Leadership Institute
  • Tennessee Legislative Leaders Academy
  • Leading Tennessee Forward Lecture Series
  • TN Civic Summit
  • Constitution Day
  • Teaching and Mentorship

  • Baker Scholars
  • Washington Scholars
  • Public Policy Analytics Minor
  • Diplomacy Lab with the US State Department
  • Baker Ambassadors
  • Vols Vote Intiative
  • Grand Policy Challenge
  • TN OrangeBook
  • The Leadership & Governance Program also supports the following programs through targeted partnerships:

  • National Honors and Scholars Program: Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Fulbright and Boren Fellowships
  • Congressional Internship Program
  • Tennessee State Legislative Internship Program
  • National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement at the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics
  • Mock Senate with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate
  • Roosevelt Institute
  • Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature
  • Mock Trial
  • Speech and Debate