2022 Class of Fellows

Arianna Montero-Colbert

Amber Finlay

Arianna Montero-Colbert joined the Office of Customer Focused Government (CFG) in August 2020 as a Governor’s Management Fellow. Coming from a background in digital product design and mixed methods research, she is passionate about putting tech to work for the everyday Tennessean. Previously, she collaborated with partners including UNICEF, UNESCO, and Last Mile Health in her role as a Senior Account Manager and Scrum Master at TechChange in Washington, D.C.

In 2019, Arianna was honored with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for her time as an undergraduate at Davidson College. Specifically, she organized initiatives that renegotiated the college community’s relationship with the city of Charlotte, increased access to paid internships for working-class students, and built support networks for first-year women of color. Outside of her commitments, Arianna can be found playing board games, singing karaoke, or soaking up the sun at Percy Priest Lake with her dog, Hazel.

Ben Lackner

Amber Finlay

Ben Lackner graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University in May of 2020 with a degree in political science and history. His studies concentrated on 20th-century European history and the American political system. While at Vanderbilt, Ben served on the student government’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Committee, was a staff writer for the Political Review, and was a member of the club hockey team.

Ben was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and is an avid Bills and Sabres fan. While living in Buffalo, Ben was a staffer on Mayor Byron Brown’s successful re-election campaign and later joined Mayor Brown's administration in the Communications Department. There, he designed and implemented a public relations campaign for the city’s Department of Public Works. In his free time, Ben enjoys reading non-fiction, finding new recipes to cook, and playing adult league hockey.

Carrie Cowart

Amber Finlay

Carrie Cowart is a Governor’s Management Fellow in the Office of Customer Focused Government. Before joining the State of Tennessee, Carrie worked for Schneider Electric, focusing on international supply chain logistics. While at Schneider, she completed her Master of Business Administration at Lipscomb University, where she also completed her bachelor’s degree in international affairs.

During her time at Lipscomb, Carrie completed internships with the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center, 5-by-5: A Change Agency, and Be One: Non-Profit Consulting. She also spent a year studying in Lausanne, Switzerland with Pepperdine University where she completed coursework in intercultural communications, international affairs, and French language. She also worked for the Tennessee General Assembly in the Senate Clerk's Office during the 111th General Assembly.

Carrie is passionate about public service, mediation, and community development. She is a Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient and founder of Lipscomb's inaugural Women's Empowerment Week, which included a Women's Christian Career Empowerment Conference. In her free time, Carrie enjoys traveling (having been to 45+ countries) and cycling on Nashville's greenways.

Destiny Brown

Amber Finlay

Destiny Brown is a Governor’s Management Fellow in the Office of Customer Focused Government (CFG). Destiny comes from a background in youth development and community engagement, having spent three years as a 4-H Extension Agent, after graduating cum laude from East Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s in social work and a minor in leadership.

Destiny joined CFG in August of 2020 as a Governor’s Management Fellow after completing her master’s degree in agriculture leadership, education, and communication from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where she was recognized for Extraordinary Professional Promise. Destiny’s graduate work has focused on social justice issues, such as equity and inclusion for underrepresented communities. She has utilized her time in her master’s program to develop a curriculum that can be used by 4-Hers from broad backgrounds, geographical location, and socioeconomic classes. She has also focused on Women of Color in Leadership and how to have more women involved on all career levels.

In her free time, Destiny enjoys crafting, studying leadership, and serving her community.

James White

Amber Finlay

James White is a Class of 2022 Governor’s Management Fellow with the Office of Customer Focused Government (CFG). He graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee, studying political science.

James holds a Juris Doctorate from the UT College of Law, as well as a Master of Public Policy and Administration from the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy. His graduate research work focused on the developing field of Second Amendment law and public budgeting.

James’s previous professional experience includes internships in Washington, DC with Senator Lamar Alexander and former Senator Bob Corker. He also interned with the Tennessee General Assembly for the House Majority Leader and the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR) where he focused on the state’s collection of online sales taxes.

Outside of work, James enjoys soccer, backpacking in the Smokies, and cheering on the Vols.