Interview Advisory Committee

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David Brace / Deputy to the Mayor 

Brace is a proud graduate of The University of Tennessee (undergraduate and masters) and is passionate about the success of the Knoxville community. Prior to joining the City of Knoxville, Brace was a firefighter/officer in charge of an engine company in Knox County and worked as a consultant in the industrial rescue and safety field. 

Brace has been with the City of Knoxville for 20+ years, beginning in the Community Development Department in 2002 under Mayor Victor Ashe. 

During his tenure, Brace has served under five mayors in various positions ranging from economic development to public works and development services.  He currently serves as the City’s COO and Deputy to Mayor Indya Kincannon.

Kelly Drummond / Human Resources Director

Dr. Drummond is a certified professional in Human Resources through the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management. 

As the current Director of Human Resources with the City of Knoxville, Drummond administers the compensation/classification system, talent acquisition, pre-employment processes, employee training, employee relations, and assists directors in employee discipline. 

Prior to this role, she worked as the Vice President of Human Resource and Leadership Development with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley and the Executive Director of Human Resources for Knox County Schools. 

She also served as a national trainer for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and facilitated national trainings on leadership, human resources development, employee motivation, and personal effectiveness.

Erin Gill / Deputy to the Mayor 

Gill serves as Chief Policy Officer and Deputy to Mayor Indya Kincannon. In this role she is responsible for numerous strategic initiatives and partnerships, which have included facilitating the administration's Public Safety Innovation Team and public engagement efforts related to the search for a new Chief of Police. 

Gill previously served as Director of Sustainability for the City and holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a B.A. in History from the University of Notre Dame.

Gill is a 2020 Leadership Knoxville Graduate and was named to Knoxville’s 40 Under 40 list in 2017.

Phil Keith / Knoxville Police Department Chief (1988 to 2004)

Keith served nearly 34 years with the Knoxville Police Department, the last 16 1/2 years as Chief. 

He served as the EMA director for 5 years and was appointed by President Bush to the Senior Advisory Council to establish Homeland Security. 

Keith served as the principal project director for Major Cities Chiefs Association for 7 years, as a Commissioner for CALEA and the Tennessee POST Commission and served as the Director of the COPS Office from 2018-21. 

Consulting work includes staffing allocation for Los Angeles, Charlotte, Savannah as well as many others and performed operations and management studies to more than 150 organizations.

LaKenya Middlebrook / Office of Community Safety 

Middlebrook has been with the City of Knoxville since 2020, first as executive director of the Police Advisory and Review Committee (PARC); she now serves as the City’s Chief Community Safety Officer. 

Prior to joining the Administration, she served as a member of PARC. 

Middlebrook has established and helped facilitate several youth violence prevention grant programs and is working on street outreach strategies to help reduce violence in our city. 

Middlebrook is also very active in our community and has served with several organizations including the NAACP, Family Justice Center and Girl Talk, Inc..

Charles Swanson / Law Director 

Swanson is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law and has been licensed to practice law in Tennessee since 1979.  

Following two years in the City Law Department, Swanson was in private practice for more than 27 years, during the last 26 years of which he served as Special Counsel to the Knoxville City Council.  

He has served as the City Law Director for almost 10 years.  

During his career Swanson has been elected to serve as President of the Knoxville Barristers, the Knoxville Bar Association, the Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court and the Tennessee Bar Association. 

Clarence Vaughn / Director of the Office of Diversity and Community Relations in the Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  

Vaughn is the former Executive Director of the City of Knoxville’s Police Advisory and Review Committee.

He also serves as a board member and Certified Practitioner of Oversight for the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.

Prior to his work at the City of Knoxville, Vaughn served as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for US Bank Corporation.

He is a 2020 Leadership Knoxville graduate and was recognized as one of Knoxville’s prestigious 40 Under 40 in 2017.

Stephanie Welch / Deputy to the Mayor 

Prior to joining Mayor Kincannon’s administration in 2020, Welch worked for 20 years in public health and public education, with a focus on community engagement, strategic planning, and public policy. 

She has also served as an elected City Council member, and in 2021 she retired after a 21 year career in the US Army Reserve. 

Welch and her team focus on projects and partnerships to promote investment in our City, ensure the availability of diverse housing options, and address homelessness through Knoxville’s Continuum of Care.