The Sycamore Institute announced today that Leslie Hafner has joined its board of directors. Hafner has served in senior leadership roles for multiple Tennessee governors and top lawmakers during an extensive career in and around state and local government. In addition, Bryce Tuggle joined Sycamore’s staff earlier this year as a policy analyst.
“Sycamore’s staff and board are the key to our success as a trusted source for Tennesseans across the political spectrum,” said Executive Director Laura Berlind. “Their expertise and commitment produces reliable, objective, and timely information that helps leaders make well-informed decisions. Leslie and Bryce make Sycamore even stronger at this crucial time of unprecedented challenge and opportunity.”
Leslie Hafner is currently senior vice president, governmental affairs for OMNIA Partners. Having staffed campaigns in various positions since age 11, Leslie is native to the world of public policy and politics. She has worked in both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly, most recently focusing on the opioid epidemic and juvenile justice reform as chief policy officer to former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell. Leslie also served as senior advisor and chief lobbyist to Governor Bill Haslam and held several policy, communications, and lobbying roles in the Sundquist administration. Since 2013, Leslie has helped to host groups from Israel, Japan, and the Philippines as an ambassador for the American Council for Young Political Leaders.
Bryce Tuggle joined Sycamore in January 2020 as a policy analyst to work on a range of issues that affect the health, prosperity, and well-being of Tennesseans. He is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Vanderbilt University, where his studies focused on how institutions shape behaviors and the effects of laws that prevent people with felony convictions from voting. He also holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s in history from Towson University. While in school, Bryce taught graduate level courses in statistical analysis for five years as a summer teaching assistant at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
Full bios for every Sycamore staff and board member are available here.