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TDEC Leadership, Boards & Commissions

David Owenby

David Owenby was named Assistant Commissioner for External Affairs in July 2014. His prior experience as TDEC Public Affairs Director and Chief of Staff plus extensive relationships across state government and with external stakeholders made him uniquely prepared to step into this position and continue the outstanding contributions made by the Office of External Affairs. As Assistant Commissioner for External Affairs, David works with a high-achieving team focused on strong customer service and being proactive in their communications and approach to stakeholder involvement. David reports directly to the Commissioner and has department-wide responsibility for:

  • Communications and Media Relations
  • Digital Media and Publications - including departmental websites, social media and The Tennessee Conservationist magazine
  • Eight Regional Directors for External Affairs
  • Government Relations

David has been with the department for 11 years, starting as TDEC's Public Affairs Director and then serving as commissioner's Chief of Staff for the past two years. He came to the department after serving in hospital management positions with Covenant Health in Knoxville and Cookeville Regional Medical Center. David earned a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and B.S. with Honors in Public Administration from Samford University. He also received a Rotary Fellowship to study at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He is a native of Sevier County and grew up in Middle Tennessee.