Meet Karen

Metro Councilwoman Karen Y. Johnson is a Metropolitan Government Council member for the 29th District of Nashville Davidson County, TN.












From an early age, Karen realized that her true calling was working with people to serve her community and her   neighbors.

  • She was selected for the prestigious Leadership Nashville Class and as a one of two National Fellows with the National League of Cities Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials from a very competitive slate of National elected officials. She also was recently appointed to the Women In Municipal Government board.
  • She is currently Chair of the Charter Revision Committee for the Metropolitan City Council for Nashville and Davidson County.  She served on The Budget and Finance, Parks and Recreation, Personnel Public Information-Human Relations-Housing, Public Safety and Planning, Zoning and Historical Committees of the Metro Council.  When her children were school aged, she served as President, Secretary and Treasurer of their Parent-Teacher Organizations at Lakeview Elementary School, Cameron Middle, Kennedy Middle and Antioch High School.
  • She has a son who is a recent graduate of  the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, lives in Houston, TX and works in Marketing with a fortune 500 corporation where he travels nationally.  Her other son is a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is a rising information technology executive with a fortune 500 corporation based here in Nashville, TN where he travels nationally and internationally.
  • Born to a family of educators, she is the daughter of the late Dr. Leotis Peterman and the late Lucy Peterman Lane.
  • Karen has served tirelessly to help our community and our city:
  • She was our district’s member of the Metro Nashville School Board, chairing the Capital Needs Budget and the Advocacy committees. She also served as a member of the Insurance/Benefits Trust, Sick Leave Bank and Budget and Finance committees.
  • She was on the Metro Nashville Board of Zoning Appeals, where she was known as a champion for neighborhoods.
  • She was a member of the Metro Nashville Board of Parks and Recreation, where she worked hard on quality-of-life improvements for our district, as well as for neighborhoods throughout our city.

Karen has and continues to participate in a variety of organizations, including

  • 2015 Women In Municipal Government, Board Member, NLC
  • 2015 Vice Chair, NLC Transportation Infrastructure & Services Steering Committee
  • 2015 Regional Director, (Region 12: Ark., Tenn.) NBC-LEO Board of Directors
  • 2014 National Leadership Fellow, National League of Cities
  • 2014 Vice Chair for NLC Large Cities Council
  • 2014 NLC Transportation Infrastructure & Services Steering Committee
  • 2013, 2014 Regional Director, (Region 12: Ark., Tenn.) NBC-LEO Board of Directors
  • Greenways Commission member representative for Metro Council, Metro Board of Parks and Recreation
  • Advisory Committe, Nashville State Community College (NSCC)
  • Metro Council Minority Caucus
  • National League of Cities, 2012-2013 Community and Economic Development Steering Committee
  • Past President, Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus
  • CNAP – The Crossings Nashville Action Partnership
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Alpha Psi, Alpha Delta Omega
  • Past chair, Sister for Sister Conference – 100 Black Women-Metro Nashville
  • Young Leaders Council Alumnae
  • Nashville Women’s Political Caucus
  • Women in Numbers
  • Tennessee State University, College of Business Alumnae
  • Trevecca Nazarene University Graduate School of Business Alumnae
  • Former Commissioner, Metro Nashville Board of Zoning Appeals
  • Former School Board Member, District 6
  • Former Member, Metro Nashville Board of Parks & Recreation
  • Stand for Children
  • Tennessee Alliance for Early Education
  • Former Member, United Way’s Building Strong Neighborhoods Council
  • Nashville Neighborhood Defense Fund Member
  • Committee Member, Southeast Nashville Egg Hunt and Festival
  • Member, Nashville Civic Design Center
  • National League of Cities, 2012-2013 Large Cities Council

Karen was instrumental in making Cane Ridge High School and the Southeast Campus for Nashville State College a reality, and she was the founder of our community’s single largest event, the Southeast Nashville Egg Hunt and Festival.

She served as past President of her homeowners association in Percy Priest Meadows and as past President of the Tennessee Women’s Political Caucus.

Karen has been named to the Nashville Business Journal Women of Influence, Nashville Chamber Emerging Leaders and The Tennessean’s Top 40 Leaders.

She received the Middle Tennessee Society for Human Resource Management Merit Scholarship.

She was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Tennessee State University, and Master’s Degree in Business from Trevecca Nazarene University.

Professionally Karen is in Human Resources at Mercy Health Services in Franklin TN and has worked previously in Human Resource Management for the State of Tennessee, HCA, and Shoney’s Inc.

Karen is married to David Johnson, who served honorably in the United States Marine Corp. She enjoys traveling, golf and tennis.