Emerge Tennessee Names Executive Director

  • Feb 15, 2017
  • Allison Abney


Emerge Tennessee Names Executive Director 

Nashville —Emerge Tennessee has named a Memphis native as Executive Director. Kristal Knight, a former executive in the office of Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser as well as a member of the team of presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, will officially join Emerge Tennessee Feb. 21. Emerge Tennessee is the 17th and southernmost affiliate of Emerge America, which inspires  Democratic women to run for office and hones their skills to win. Emerge’s goal is clear: to increase the number of Democratic women in public office.

Knight said, “I am excited to lead this effort because I believe in the power of women. When women lead, the world succeeds.”

Knight served as Executive Director and Chief Service Officer of Serve DC, the Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism for D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, was  Director of Marketing and Business Development for Capital Services Management, and an Adjunct Professor at the University of the District of Columbia. She also served in the Executive Office of former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty as a Policy Analyst, as well as a Radio and TV Producer for Voice of America, and a Jumpstart Core Member at Americorps at Jumpstart Howard University. She is a 2013 graduate of Yale University’s Women’s Campaign School. 

Her campaign experience includes organizing and field coordination for Hillary for America and Obama for America, as well as Volunteer Black Caucus and Faith Council Lead at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.

Knight earned a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish at Howard University and a Master of Science in International Public Policy from University College London.

Emerge is a proven, successful training program for Democratic women seeking elected office. In 2016 12 of the 13 graduates of Emerge Kentucky won their races, including the election of the first African American woman to win a seat in the State House in 20 years. Since the first Emerge state was launched in 2002, the Emerge network has trained over 2,000 Democratic women to run for office to date. During that time, 52% of Emerge alumnae have run for office or been appointed to local boards or commissions. Of those who have run for office, 70% have won. In addition, Emerge has a strong record of diversity: 39% of Emerge alumnae are women of color.


Founded in 2016, Emerge Tennessee will be the premier political leadership training organization for Democratic women in Tennessee. Our mission is to recruit, train, and inspire Democratic women to pursue public office at the local, state and national levels through our multi-month campaign-training program. Emerge Tennessee is part of a national network currently working in 16 additional states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

For more information about Emerge Tennessee, please visit: Emerge Tennessee 


Learn about Emerge America by visiting: Emerge America