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David Owenby

Deputy Commissioner Administration/Chief of Staff
Department of Environment & Conservation

David Owenby is TDEC Deputy Commissioner for Administration/Chief of Staff. David is responsible for the department’s administrative functions in the following areas:

  • Accounting/Fiscal Services Division
  • Budget Division
  • Emergency Services & MVM
  • Facilities, Space and Records Management
  • Financial Responsibility & Business Process Improvement
  • Grants and Contracts Administration
  • Information Systems Division
  • Internal Audit Division
  • Purchasing Division

David has 20 years of experience in administrative services for both public and private sector firms, including the past 13 years in Tennessee State government. Over the past 13 years, David has previously served the department as TDEC Chief of Staff, Assistant Commissioner for External Affairs and Public Affairs Director. During this period, David has developed an extensive knowledge and understanding of TDEC and state government and uses that knowledge to help TDEC operate as efficiently as possible.

He leads a team responsible for all accounting and reporting, accounts payable, payroll, administration of all federal grant funds, all budget activities, as well as the billing and collecting of more than $80 million in various fees, purchasing for the department and contract development and review. His team handles departmental budget revisions and expansion requests and represents the department before Legislative finance committees.

Before coming to TDEC, David served in senior management positions at hospitals and health systems in both Knoxville and Cookeville. David is a native of Sevier County and grew up in Middle Tennessee. He received a B.S. with Honors from Samford University, studied on a Rotary Fellowship at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and earned a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Alabama Birmingham. David is a 2004 graduate of the Tennessee Government Executive Institute.