Book Bill Purcell

Fouding Partner of Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter; Former Mayor of Nashville; Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at Vanderbilt University

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Bill Purcell Bio

A founding partner of Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter, PLLC, Bill Purcell has spent more than 30 years in law, public service, and higher education. During his eight-year tenure as Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (1999-2007) the city saw unprecedented economic expansion, an increase in Metro school funding of more than 50 percent, and the development and preservation of more than 26,000 affordable housing units. He was elected to his second term as mayor by a record-setting 84.8 percent of the vote. Mr. Purcell’s accomplishments as a civic leader earned him Public Official of the Year honors in 2006 by Governing Magazine. During his term, Nashville was ranked as the number one city for corporate headquarters and twice ranked as the hottest city in America for expansion and relocation of business.Following his service as mayor, Mr. Purcell was named a Harvard University Institute of Politics Fellow in 2007. He then served as Founding and Interim Dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University before returning to the Harvard Institute of Politics as Director (2008 – 2010), and a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. In December 2009, Mr. Purcell was appointed by Harvard University President Drew Faust as co-chair of the Work Team for Allston and served as Special Advisor on Allston. In these roles, he recommended strategies for achieving a cohesive academic and learning campus environment situated in the Allston neighborhood of Boston adjacent to Cambridge. A decade earlier he was founder and director of the Child and Family Policy Center at Vanderbilt University (1996-99), a nationally-recognized center building a bridge between academic research, politics, and best practices to benefit children and their families. He recently served as a Visiting Professor at Meharry Medical College (Summer 2014). He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at Vanderbilt University (appointed 2012).Mr. Purcell was elected to five terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives (1986-96), serving as Majority Leader (1990-96). During his decade in the General Assembly he sponsored and passed legislation undertaking major reforms in Tennessee’s schools, courtrooms, industrial plants and boardrooms, criminal and juvenile justice, hospitals, and voting booths. He served as Chair of the House Rules Committee, Committee on Open Records, and the Select Joint Committee on Children and Youth, and as a member of the Judiciary, General Welfare, Finance Ways and Means, and Ethics Committees. During his service Tennessee was twice ranked the best managed state in America.Having represented clients in all of the trial courts of Nashville as well as the federal and state appellate courts, Mr. Purcell has been an active participant in the work of the bar. He served as a member of the Commission on the Future of the Tennessee Judicial System, the Tennessee IOLTA Grant Review Committee, and the Board of the Nashville Bar Association, and is a Fellow of both the Tennessee and Nashville Bar Foundations. He has been honored by the Nashville Bar Association with the John C. Tune award for outstanding contributions to his community and faithful service as a member of the bar (2006).He earned his bachelor’s degree at Hamilton College and his law degree at Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was honored as the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus.Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Bill Purcell and other top speakers and celebrities.

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