Malone and Roberts Join Sycamore Board of Directors

Deidre Malone and Gabe Roberts

The Sycamore Institute, an independent and nonpartisan public policy research center for Tennessee, announced today that Deidre Malone and Gabe Roberts have joined its board of directors. Malone is a former chair of the Shelby County Commission and fixture of the Memphis business community. Roberts is a former executive with Tennessee’s Medicaid program and served in Governor Bill Lee’s cabinet as the agency’s director.

“Sycamore is proof that people who disagree on policy issues can still work together for the good of Tennessee,” said Executive Director Laura Berlind. “In all of our work, Sycamore aims to connect and build trust among people from across the state who have different experiences and perspectives. Deidre and Gabe are perfect choices to help us take those efforts to the next level.”

Deidre Malone

Deidre Malone is the president and CEO of The Carter Malone Group, a Memphis-based public relations, marketing, advertising, and government relations firm. Deidre was the first African American woman to chair the Shelby County Commission and the first woman to win a major party’s nomination for Shelby County mayor. She previously led marketing for ALSAC, the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and public relations for the hospital itself. Deidre is the 1st vice president of the National Women’s Political Caucus, past president of the Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus, former vice president of the Shelby County Democratic Party, and past president of the NAACP Memphis Branch. She has also served on the boards of the Shelby County Port Authority and EDGE, the city and county’s economic development agency.

Gabe Roberts

Gabe Roberts is the founder and CEO of the Roberts Consulting Group and the former director of TennCare, our state’s Medicaid program. An attorney and certified public accountant, he managed the agency’s $12 billion budget and 1,200 employees while crafting and implementing policies that influenced health care services for 1.4 million Tennesseans. Prior to that role in Governor Bill Lee’s cabinet, Gabe also served as TennCare’s chief operating officer and general counsel. Before joining TennCare, he was a corporate attorney with the Nashville law firm Sherrard, Roe, Voigt and Harbison. He is a former board member of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, a fellow with the Medicaid Leadership Institute and the Nashville Health Care Council, and a member of the University of Mississippi’s Hall of Fame.

Full bios for every Sycamore staff and board member are available at

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