City Policy is led by Chief Policy Officer and Deputy to the Mayor William Lyons.
In this position he has major responsibility for policies regarding development of downtown and our urban core, community development and external policies for the city.
He previously served as Senior Director of Economic Development, Senior Director of Policy Development, and Senior Director of Policy and Communications, all for Mayor and now Governor Bill Haslam and then Mayor Daniel Brown.
He currently serves as a board member of the Tennessee Historical Commission. Lyons grew up in Memphis, attending Memphis City Schools and graduating from Memphis Central High School in 1966. He received his BA degree from Rhodes College in 1970 and his PhD in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma in 1974.
In 2012 he retired as Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee, where he had taught since 1975. Lyons has published more than 50 books and articles on American politics and political methodology. His research has appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, The American Journal of Public Administration and the Social Science Quarterly.
Lyons also served on the board of Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) where he was board chair from 2001 – 2002. Here he was responsible for the process that led to the redevelopment of Market Square.
In all of his roles with the City, he has emphasized the need for public process and public engagement. He led the discussions that created the Downtown North redevelopment area, and was instrumental in the siting and development of the Knoxville Center transit station and Knoxville Area Transit headquarters on Church Avenue.
As Chief Policy Officer, he oversees these Departments: