Leslie Hafner leaves Harwell’s office

Press release from House Speaker Beth Harwell’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell today announced that Leslie Hafner, Senior Advisor to the Speaker, will be leaving the House of Representatives to return to the private sector.

“Leslie and I have worked together in different capacities for over 20 years, and most recently has supported me in my legislative office,” Harwell said. “Leslie has spent many years serving this State, and I know the decision to move away from public policy development was a difficult one. I wish her and her family all the best in her new endeavors. I will miss having her in the Speaker’s Office, but I know she will never be far away.”

As Senior Policy Advisor, Hafner oversaw strategic projects and initiatives of the House. She assisted with work on the Opioid Task Force and on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Juvenile Justice Reform. Hafner collaborated with a team of eleven Research Analysts to support the day-to-day work of the committee system, and has acted as the Speaker’s liaison to various departments, and stakeholder groups.

Hafner is a 23-year veteran of Legislative Plaza and Tennessee politics. Prior to joining Harwell’s office, she was a member of Governor Haslam’s Cabinet for six years as Director of Legislation and then his Senior Advisor.

 “It has been honor to serve Speaker Harwell and to be a part of the incredible team she has brought together,” Hafner said. “Our state is so fortunate to have a leader who is passionate about serving citizens, committed to finding the right answers, and is focused on issues that will advance Tennessee in education and economic development.”

Hafner, 47, received a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University. She has been an ambassador to the Department of State’s affiliate program American Council of Young Political Leaders for 10 years, and has hosted Fellows from Israel, Malaysia and Indonesia. Hafner was recognized by Nashville Post Magazine as “In Charge” for six consecutive years.

She and her devoted husband, Matt, live in Nashville with their three dogs, Mr. Biscuits, Louie and Hank. Hafner will assume her new role at the law firm of Butler Snow on Monday, January 8.

UPDATE/Note: A follow-up press release from Butler Snow says Hafner will be “senior government relations advisor” in the firm’s Nashville office.

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