- Mayor of Nashville 2007-2015
- Led Nashville through a national recession and a 1,000-year flood
- Helped create the Music City Music Council
Karl Dean was the sixth mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. He was elected on Sept. 11, 2007, and was re-elected on Aug. 4, 2011, to serve a second term. During his time in office, Mayor Dean led Nashville through two big challenges – a deep national recession and a 1,000-year flood – and still made progress on his priorities of education, public safety and economic development. He worked diligently on efforts to sustain and improve Nashville's high quality of life.
Mayor Dean was a strong supporter of the music industry during his time in office. In 2009 he helped create the Music City Music Council as a partnership between the Mayor's Office, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp to capitalize on Nashville's identity as Music City. The Music Council commissioned a study in 2013 that found the music industry has a $10 billion annual economic impact on the Nashville region. With the Music Council, Mayor Dean strengthened music education in Metro Schools through Music Makes Us, which aspires to be a national model. The program added contemporary curriculum that embraces new technologies and reflects a diverse musical landscape while also enhancing traditional school music. He also opened Ryman Lofts, Nashville's first affordable rental units for musicians and artists.
Mayor Dean loves to say, "You can never have too much live music in Music City," and he proved that by launching Live On the Green, a free, public concert series held on the Public Square in front of the Metro Courthouse.
Inducted to the Music City Walk of Fame on September 10, 2015.