Megan Christine Barry (née Mueller; born September 22, 1963) is the 7th
mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, a post she has held since 2015. She is the first woman to hold the post. Previously, she served as a Council Member At Large on the Nashville-Davidson Metropolitan Council.
Although elections in Nashville are nonpartisan, Barry, like nearly all elected officials in the city, is known to be a Democrat. In addition to being Nashville's first woman mayor, Barry is also the fourth mayor since 1991 of non-native Tennessean origin (the others being Phil Bredesen, Bill Purcell, and Karl Dean).
Barry was born on September 22, 1963 in Santa Ana, California. She grew up in Overland Park, Kansas. She earned a bachelor's degree from Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Barry spent several years as a specialist in business ethics and corporate responsibility for the multinational telecommunications firm Nortel Networks. From 2003 to 2012, Barry was vice president of ethics and compliance at Premier, Inc., a health-care group purchasing organization. She has also worked as Principal of Barry & Associates, an independent consulting organization to multinational corporations on issues dealing with business ethics and corporate social responsibility.
Barry started her mayoral campaign in April 2013, filing paperwork with the Davidson County Election Commission naming Nashville attorney Leigh Walton as her campaign's treasurer. She received the largest total of votes for mayor in this election, but did not achieve an absolute majority of votes cast in the race, setting up her runoff race against hedge fund manager David Fox, the second-place finisher. The runoff was noted by many as a particularly dirty campaign, with both candidates launching various personal attacks against the other.
Barry raised US$1.1 million in political contributions during her campaign. She received US$1,500 from Wayne T. Smith, who serves as the CEO of Community Health Systems, and an additional US$1,500 from R. Milton Johnson, who serves as the CEO of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). She received an additional US$5,000 from HCA.Additionally, Barry received US$1,500 from Damon T. Hininger, the CEO of Corrections Corporation of America, and another US$1,500 from its Chairman, John D. Ferguson. Another notable donor was Mike Curb, the founder of Curb Records.She also received US$7,600 from the Nashville Business Coalition, a business organization.
Barry won a decisive victory over David Fox in a September 10 runoff election.
Barry took office on September 25, 2015, becoming the first woman to hold the post and the second woman to serve as mayor of one of the "Big Four" cities in Tennessee. Her inauguration was held in the Music City Center in Nashville. The theme was "We Make Nashville".
Barry is an Emeritus Board Member of the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association and served as the first chairperson of The Conference Board's Global Council on Ethics and Business Practices. She also served as the Associate Director of the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership at Vanderbilt University
Barry serves on the board of directors of Nashville's Center for Non-profit Management, the Nashville Repertory Theater, the Belcourt Theater, and the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. She is a member of the Ethics Advisory Board for the Belmont University College of Business Administration. She served as co-chair for the Conexión Americas annual "El Cafecito" event in 2013.
Barry is married to Bruce Barry, a professor at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. The couple has one son, Max.
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County.Nashville is the second largest city in Tennessee, behind Memphis, and the fifth largest city in the southeastern United States. It is located on the Cumberland River in the north central part of the state. The city is a center for the music, healthcare, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home to numerous colleges and universities. Reflecting the city's position in state government, Nashville is home to the Tennessee Supreme Court's courthouse for Middle Tennessee. It is known as a center of the country music industry, earning it the nickname "Music City U.S.A."
Since 1963, Nashville has had a consolidated city-county government which includes six smaller municipalities in a two-tier system. Thirty-five of 40 members are elected from single-member districts; five are elected at-large. According to 2013 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the total consolidated city-county population stood at 659,042. The "balance" consolidated population, which excludes the semi-independent municipalities and is the figure listed in most demographic sources and national rankings, was 634,464. The 2013 population of the entire 13-county Nashville metropolitan area was 1,757,912, making it the largest metropolitan statistical area in the state. The 2013 population of the Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Columbia combined statistical area, a larger trade area, was 1,876,933.