Our People

Senator William Frist, M.D.

TNC Global Board Chair and Founding Partner of Frist Cressey Ventures

Nashville, Tennessee

Headshot of William Frist.

Senator William Frist TNC Global Board Member; Partner and Chairman of Cressey and Company © Courtesy of Senator Frist


Global Health, Domestic Health Reform, Education


June 2015 – October 2025


Senator William Frist, M.D. is the Chair of The Nature Conservancy’s Global Board of Directors. Senator Frist is a nationally-acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, founding partner of Frist Cressey Ventures and chairman of the Executives Council of the health service investment firm Cressey & Company. He is actively engaged in the business as well as the medical, humanitarian and philanthropic communities. He is founder and chairman of SCORE, a statewide education reform organization that has helped propel Tennessee to prominence as a K12 education reform state, the global health non-profit Hope Through Healing Hands and the regional community health collaborative NashvilleHealth (which has co-led a major citywide initiative to plant half a million trees by 2050).

As a U.S. Senator representing Tennessee from 1994 -2007 (the first practicing physician elected to the Senate since 1928), Senator Frist served on both the Health (HELP) and the Finance Committees responsible for writing all health legislation. He was elected Majority Leader of the Senate, having served fewer total years in Congress than any person chosen to lead that body in history. His leadership was instrumental in the passage of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act and the historic PEPFAR legislation that provided life-saving treatment globally to over 20 million people and reversed the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide.  He also held seats on the Foreign Relations Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on Africa, the Commerce Committee and the Banking Committee. He served six years with President Clinton and six years with President Bush. Honoring his pledge to serve just two terms, he left the Senate and his position as Majority Leader in 2007.

As a leading authority on healthcare, Senator Frist speaks nationally on health reform, government policy, global health, education reform and volunteerism. In 2019 he launched “A Second Opinion” podcast, which addresses challenging healthcare issues of today from three distinct vantage points: policy, medicine and innovation.

He is Co-Chair of the Health Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and co-founder of palliative care company Aspire Health. In addition to The Nature Conservancy, his current board service includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and publicly-traded companies Select Medical and Teladoc Health.

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