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ETEC - Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Senator & Olivia Blackmon, Director, ORAU STEM Accelerator

ETEC - Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Senator & Olivia Blackmon, Director, ORAU STEM Accelerator

Friday, May 17, 2024 (7:30 AM - 8:30 AM) (EDT)


ETEC members meet each Friday morning from 7:30am-8:30am. This meeting is open to all members and their guests.

We welcome our members and their guests to attend the ETEC meetings in person. It is the best way to connect, or re-connect, with friends, colleagues, and potential business opportunities. 

Join us at ETEC in person or online Friday, May 17, to hear from two talented and accomplished women.

  • U.S. Senator for Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn.
  • Dr. Olivia Blackmon, the Director of ORAU's STEM Accelerator, speaking about the Partnerships for Nuclear Energy, a new public-private partnership focused on education, training and workforce. 

This meeting is open for both in-person and virtual attendees who are ETEC members and their guests.

No registration is necessary for in-person attendance.


Click here to register for the VIRTUAL meeting (note, this is a NEW link for the 2024 ETEC Friday morning  meetings):

For more information about ETEC’s weekly meetings, click here

Visit the Find Us page for the meeting location, address, and map.

Marsha Blackburn
U.S. Senator 

Senate: Tennessee 116th-118th (2019-Present)
House: Tennessee, District 7 108th-115th (2003-2019)

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn was sworn in to the Senate in January 2019.

Marsha Blackburn was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018, and is currently serving her first term representing the state of Tennessee. Before her election to the Senate, Marsha represented Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District.

Marsha’s public service is dedicated to promoting opportunities for women and making America a more prosperous place to live. Marsha’s leadership philosophy is based on her experiences in the private sector as a small business woman and author, as well as being a mother and grandmother.

Marsha went to college on a 4-H scholarship and worked her way through school selling books for the Southwestern Company as one of their first female sales associates, and later as one of their first female sales managers.

She then became Director of Retail Fashion and Special Events for the Castner Knott Company, which was a Nashville-based regional department store. Later, Marsha founded her own business, Marketing Strategies, which focused on the retail marketplace, as well as electronic and print media.

Marsha began her career in public service in 1995 when she was named executive director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission. In 1998, she was elected to the Tennessee State Senate. In the state legislature, she earned a reputation for fiscal responsibility and government accountability by identifying waste and offering realistic solutions to Tennessee’s budget challenges.

While serving in the Tennessee Senate, Marsha led a statewide grassroots campaign to defeat a proposed state income tax. The tax was defeated, and Marsha’s leadership earned her a reputation as an anti-tax champion. In 2014, the people of Tennessee passed an amendment to the state constitution to expressly prohibit a state income tax – a fitting cap to a 14-year battle.

In 2002, Marsha was elected to represent the people of Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District based on her record in the state legislature. She brought her Tennessee values to Washington, DC, and became a leader in the fight for small, efficient federal government that is accountable to its citizens. As a Congressman, Marsha was often selected by her colleagues to lead the charge for principled conservativism. Her congressional career was also noted for her Chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, as well as bipartisan expertise in defending songwriters’ and performers’ rights.

Marsha is a member of numerous charitable organizations and is an active member of her church, Christ Presbyterian. Marsha and her husband Chuck live in Williamson County, Tennessee. They have two children, Mary Morgan (Paul) Ketchel and Chad (Hillary) Blackburn, three grandsons, and a granddaughter. Originally from Laurel, Mississippi, Marsha is a graduate of Mississippi State University.

Olivia M. Blackmon

Director for Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) STEM Accelerator

 Olivia M. Blackmon, BA Sociology '99, MA '11, PhD '15, boasts an impressive background with more than 25 years of professional experience in critical infrastructure, regional innovation, partnership development and business operations.  

She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in sociology with a concentration in education technology and statistics from George Mason University and was an EWA fellow for education policy at Harvard University.   She received a Fulbright for Education and Technology research in Kenya and Panama. 

Blackmon is currently the Director for Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) STEM Accelerator where she oversees the mobilization of partners to conduct research and development, drive technical solutions, and inform and educate federal, state and local policy focused on Nuclear Energy. She leads the Partnership for Nuclear Energy a national initiative to strengthen America’s global leadership in STEM by unifying and mobilizing a comprehensive body of leaders from various sectors to address the critical challenges in the nuclear energy education, training, and workforce development issues across the United States.  In 2025, Dr. Blackmon will be on a short-term Fulbright working across Africa to support the expansion of Clean Energy and Nuclear in collaboration with public-private partners across 10 countries.

Prior to joining ORAU, Blackmon directed a $30 million United States Agency of International Development (USAID) program for DAI, Inc., to enable the digital transformation of the Western Balkans, Black Sea Region, and South Caucasus by working with the national governments, critical infrastructure operators, private sector partners, academia, and oversight bodies to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities across critical infrastructure sectors. Her work included developing partnerships to address the necessary legal, workforce, and investment gaps needed to support critical infrastructure resilience and document lessons learned.   

Blackmon led the mobilization of over 1,000 partnerships to support MITRE’s COVID-19 Coalition, a major initiative supported by more than 20 U.S. Federal Agencies and the White House.  This private sector led response gathered healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, and academia impacting over 19 programs to include vaccine distribution, contact tracing, digital health innovation, access to health in rural areas, and other programs.    

Over the last decade Blackmon has successfully built and managed programs totaling more than $130 million with multiple federal agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of State, National Science Foundation, USAID, Department of Health Services and National Institute of Standards and Technology.

ETEC - UT Outreach Center
1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN 37830 United States

Come to the back corner of the building. The entrance faces the Quality Inn and Applebee's. Look for an awning and sign that says University of Tennessee Outreach Center.

Click here to register for the VIRTUAL version of the meeting: 

Event Contact
Hailey Lewis
(865) 946-3250
Send Email
Friday, May 17, 2024 (7:30 AM - 8:30 AM) (EDT)
Complimentary coffee, bagels, muffins and pastries served.
Friday Morning Meeting
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