Ted Townsend head shotTed Townsend
Chief Economic Development and Government Relations Officer
Phone: 901.678.55
E-mail: Ted.Townsend@memphis.edu 

Ted will lead the University's economic development activities in Memphis and Jackson, to include attracting and retaining university-area businesses, and will work to increase internship and employment opportunities for students. He will represent the UofM at the local, state, and federal government levels, and monitor and advocate legislation and higher education policy issues. Ted also serves as a member of the President's Council.

For the past seven years, Ted served the State of Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development, with nearly half of that term as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer. Other roles included Assistant Commissioner for Strategy and Regional Director for Greater Memphis. Ted managed the State's $200M state economic development incentive and operational budget, assisted in procurement of more than $40M in Federal grants for community development projects, and developed legislative policy.

Ted is a proven leader in the economic and business development arena, has experience in developing public-private partnerships and has expertise in municipal, state and federal economic development funding programs. He has represented local and state interests at the national and international levels, and has a background in healthcare administration.

Ted holds a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Memphis.

headshot coming soonKatie VanLandingham
Senior Director of Government Relations and Public Policy
Phone: 901.383.3187
E-mail: K.L.V@memphis.edu 

VanLandingham joined the UofM from JohnsonPossKirby Government Relations in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was a senior associate. In her role, she worked with legislators, administration officials and personnel from various departments to pass legislation based on clients' interests. During her tenure, VanLandingham also handled client management for all Ethics and Campaign Finance initiatives, to include PACs, registrations, expenditures and audit reports.

As senior director of government relations and policy, VanLandingham handles direct lobbying and relationship-building with policymakers and staff, analyzing policies and coordinating legislative efforts for the University; on local, state, and federal levels.

Since 2018, VanLandingham has also served as Executive Director of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature, governing the board of the organization to ensure its financial stability. Coordinating with corporate partners and collegiate leadership, she ensures the organization's mission is successfully carried out through strategic planning, programs and outreach.

VanLandingham graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a degree in English Literature and Writing. She was previously a board member for the Tennessee Lobbyist Association and collaborated with her colleagues to design and maintain a strategic operating plan.

Cody fletcher headshot Cody Fletcher
Director, Local Government Relations and District Operations
Phone: 901.678.5561
E-Mail: cody.fletcher@memphis.edu
Office: UMRF Research Park, 460 S. Highland St.

A lifelong Memphian, Cody joined The University of Memphis in 2018 to lead economic development efforts in the University District. This includes managing all aspects of the Highland Revitalization TIF, a $21,000,000 public infrastructure improvements program. He also guides the University Neighborhoods Development Corporation (UNDC), a non-profit laboratory community development organization that seeks to build a thriving campus and community environment by improving the physical and economic infrastructure of the University District.

Additionally, Cody represents the University at the local government level, where he communicates and advocates UM priorities to government officials, including legislative bodies, boards, and commissions.

Cody is active in the community, serving as a member of the University Schools Advisory Board, Blight Elimination Steering Team, and previously as Vice President of the East Buntyn Neighborhood Association. Prior to joining The University of Memphis, Cody worked in the non-profit sector as a development specialist.

Cody holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from The University of Memphis.

courtney blanchard headshotCourtney Blanchard
Project Coordinator 
Phone: 901.678.5561
Email: C.Blanchard@memphis.edu
Office: 322 Administration Bldg

Courtney moved to Memphis in 2007, graduated from Central High School in 2014. She then attended the University of Memphis, where she was an Emerging Leader and actively involved as a Student Government Association Senator. During her undergraduate years, Courtney interned for the House Education Committee. After graduating in 2018 with a degree in political science, Courtney worked on a number of Tennessee State House campaigns before returning to the Legislature to serve as a Legislative Assistant in the House of Representatives. In the summer of 2019, Courtney returned to her alma mater and joined the University of Memphis staff in the office of Economic Development and Government Relations, where she spearheads projects as Project Coordinator. Away from work, Courtney is an avid dog lover and enjoys catching up with the latest intriguing podcasts.