The Sycamore Institute announced today the addition of Brittney Anthony and Ryan Bass to Sycamore’s staff and Knoxville’s Karen Pershing to the board of directors.
“Brittney, Ryan, and Karen add even greater depth to Sycamore’s issue expertise and ability to engage with policymakers and communities across Tennessee,” said Executive Director Laura Berlind. “Sycamore’s bipartisan staff and board are a testament to the fact that people with different perspectives can work together on the thorniest public policy challenges.”
Brittney Anthony joins Sycamore as associate director of operations and engagement. She will support day-to-day management and operations and lead the organization’s statewide engagement efforts through community events and symposiums. Anthony brings nearly a decade of experience in community engagement and public policy at the Tennessee General Assembly and the Knoxville Utilities Board. Most recently, she worked for State Senator Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) and served as press secretary for the Tennessee Senate Democrats. She holds a master’s degree in corporate communication from Austin Peay State University.
Ryan Bass joins Sycamore as a policy analyst. In this role, he will research and analyze policy options, data, and outcomes to help inform Tennesseans about potential solutions to complex problems. Bass earned a master’s degree in public policy from Jacksonville University, where he studied the local tax revenue implications of statewide policy decisions. Previously, he served in U.S. Representative John Rutherford’s (R-FL) district office with a focus on helping constituents and local governments navigate federal programs.
Karen Pershing serves as executive director of the Metro Drug Coalition and is Sycamore’s first board member from Knoxville. A certified prevention specialist, Pershing has been recognized by the Tennessee Public Health Association, the FBI’s Knoxville Field Office, Knox Biz and the Tennessee Department of Health for her work on substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery. She has a master’s degree in public health from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and also serves on the boards of Harmony Family Centers and the Prevention Alliance of Tennessee.
Full bios for every Sycamore staff and board member are available here.