Alexia Poe, director of communications for Gov. Bill Haslam, will receive the 2012 Donald G. Hileman Distinguished Alumni Award at the spring commencement ceremony for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Communication and Information.
The ceremony is set for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 10, in Thompson-Boling Arena.
“Alexia Poe has had a remarkable career in the area of public communications,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “Her distinguished public service, coupled with her communication work in the private sector, inspires our students to think big and pursue their dreams. We are proud of everything Alexia has accomplished and very pleased to present her with the college’s 2012 Hileman Award.”
Poe earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from UT in 1995, and began her career as a reporter and morning news anchor in Northeast Tennessee. She moved to Nashville in 1997 to join Gov. Don Sundquist’s staff, where she became the second female and youngest person in the state’s history to serve as press secretary to a governor.
In 2002, Poe moved to Washington, D.C., to work for First Lady Laura Bush at the White House. She then moved from the East Wing to Capitol Hill, where she established U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander’s communications office.
Poe returned to Nashville in 2007 and worked for nearly four years as director of public affairs for Gaylord Entertainment. She joined Haslam’s office after most recently serving as the director of economic and community development for Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
The Donald G. Hileman Award is named for the first permanent dean of the College of Communications, the forerunner to the College of Communication and Information. The award was established in 1994 in celebration of the college’s 25th anniversary. It is awarded to college alumni who have made notable contributions to the field of communication and information.
Past recipients include McCormick & Company Inc. chairman, president and CEO Alan Wilson; former Esquire magazine publisher Alan N. Greenberg; former UT quarterback and four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning; and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and noted science writer for the New York Times, John Noble Wilford.