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Leadership Tennessee Names Dr. Parinda Khatri to Class X

July 03, 2023


Alfred Degrafinreid II


Leadership Tennessee Names Dr. Parinda Khatri to Class X

Knox County Resident Selected To Collaborate With Professionals Statewide To Address Tennessee’s Most Serious Issues

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 3, 2023) – Leadership Tennessee, a collective with a mission to foster non-partisan dialogue on issues of state importance, has named Cherokee Health Systems’ (CHS) CEO Dr. Parinda Khatri to its 2023–2024 Signature Program Class X.

The cohort includes representatives from 14 Tennessee counties with diverse professional experience in business, government, education and nonprofit sectors.

Over the course of 10 months, the cohort will visit all corners of the state, analyzing challenges that Tennessee faces and will work together to identify the best solutions and opportunities. The statewide study will result in concrete plans to continue dialogue and actions addressing the most serious issues uncovered.

“The opportunity to participate in this year’s Signature Program is one I do not take lightly,” said CHS’ Dr. Khatri, Class X member. “Living in Tennessee for 22 years, I am acutely aware of the challenges our state faces, and I am personally invested in seeing Tennessee succeed and function as a role model for other states.”

The group was chosen by a selection committee co-chaired by Valoria Armstrong and John Tolsma, both graduates of Leadership Tennessee. Candidates are evaluated based on the following criteria: leadership experience, a history of addressing statewide issues in both a personal and professional capacity, and a strong understanding of what challenges Tennessee faces today.

“Collaboration is critical as we continue to work together in progressing Tennessee forward,” said Alfred Degrafinreid II, president and CEO, Leadership Tennessee. “Tennessee looks starkly different today compared to when this program began 10 years ago, and every year, we face new and challenging issues. I’m confident in the diverse makeup of this class and know that these are the right individuals to create meaningful change across the state.”

Previous classes have been able to facilitate numerous community engagement sessions across the state. Since Leadership Tennessee’s founding, more than 500 members have graduated through both the Signature Program and Leadership Tennessee NEXT, which is dedicated to emerging leaders.

The cohort’s work will begin in August and run through June 2024.


Leadership Tennessee was founded in 2013 as an initiative of the College of Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University, and in 2021, it launched as an independent 501(c)(3). The program fosters collaborative, non-partisan dialogue on issues of state importance, connecting a network of diverse leaders and engaged citizens. Citizens with demonstrated community and professional leadership from every region of the state bring their diverse backgrounds and experiences to an in-depth exploration of the complex issues facing Tennessee, with a focus on how leaders can collaborate to effectively address those issues.

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