Bill Gibbons joined Governor Bill Haslam's cabinet as Commissioner for the Department of Safety and Homeland Security in January 2011. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Gibbons served as Shelby County District Attorney General for approximately 14 years.
As Commissioner, Gibbons oversees the agency's law enforcement, safety education, driver services, and disaster preparedness and prevention programs. He also chairs a cabinet working group of all state executive branch departments and agencies involved in public safety to develop a single, consistent state agenda to combat crime.
Gibbons began his state government career in 1979 as a special policy assistant for former Governor Lamar Alexander and then returned to private law practice in 1981. He rejoined state government in 1996, after former Governor Don Sundquist named him District Attorney General in order to fill an unexpired term. Gibbons was then elected to a pair of eight-year terms in 1998 and 2006.
His accomplishments as DA include a no plea bargaining policy on the most violent crimes, his joint effort with other law enforcement to crack down on possession of guns by convicted felons, and his creation of special prosecution units to focus on gang violence, drug trafficking, domestic violence and child abuse.
Gibbons chairs Operation: Safe Community, an initiative to reduce crime in Memphis and Shelby County. He continues to serve in this capacity as Commissioner. Gibbons has also served on the Board of Directors for the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA), the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI), as well as the U. S. Department of Justice's Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Prior to serving as District Attorney, Gibbons was a partner in the law firm of Evans & Petree and served in part-time elective positions as a member of both the Memphis City Council and the Shelby County Commission.
Born in El Dorado, Arkansas, Gibbons holds both undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt University.
He is married to United States Court of Appeals Judge Julia S. Gibbons. They have two children.