Dean makes key staff appointments

Dean promotes one from within Metro, but also steals staff from Meharry and adds a former council candidate

Mayor Karl Dean continues to build his staff, announcing today that three key appointments have been made in his office.

Absent from the list are the full time appointments of two key metro offices, that of Law Director and Finance Director. Both of those positions are currently being filled on an interim basis.

The three appointments are as follows:

Rita Roberts-Turner, chief of staff. Roberts-Turner joins the Mayor's Office from the Law Department, where she has served as an attorney since 1999, practicing in areas of civil rights, employment, personal injury and contracts. As a Metro attorney, she has represented the Police Department, Davidson County's Sheriff's Office, Juvenile Court and the Hospital Authority, among other various Metro departments and agencies. She also has served as an assistant public defender for Nashville. Prior to receiving her law degree, Roberts-Turner worked as a general assignment reporter for the Nashville Banner.

Hershell Warren, senior advisor. Warren currently serves as the director of public policy and governmental affairs for Meharry Medical College, where he has worked since 1982. During his time at Meharry, he also has served as executive director for the Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center, where he helped develop several specialized treatment programs for women with dependent children.

Warren is a past president of the Tennessee Association of Community Health Centers and former advisory board member and chair of the Nashville Prevention Partnership. He has served on the Health Care Task Force of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators and worked on statewide health care initiatives for the Office of Minority Health and the Black Health Care Commission.

Brady Banks, director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods. Banks is a former candidate for council at-large and worked for the Karl Dean for Mayor campaign as field director during the runoff election. Most recently, he has served as the hearings and appeals officer at the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

In 2003, Banks completed a research project on affordable housing strategies of the Mayor's Office, faith-based organizations and other affordable housing groups in Nashville through a grant from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The research was later used in cities nationwide as part of an initiative through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Faith and Community-Based Initiatives Office called "Unlocking Doors."

To date, Dean has filled a number of positions, including the office of deputy mayor filled by Greg Hinote, former chief of staff to U.S. Congressman Jim Cooper.