Dr. Richard Briggs was first elected to the Knox County Commission in 2008 and represented District 5 in Knox County. He was re-elected to a second term in 2010. In 2014, he ran and won the election for the Tennessee state senate district 7 in Knox County. He was re-elected to a second 4 year term to the senate in 2018. In the Tennessee Senate, he has served on the Finance Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Health Committee as well as the Chairman of the Senate Ethnics Committee. In 2020, Senator Briggs assumed duties as the Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

Dr. Briggs earned his B.S. degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, KY in 1978. Upon graduation from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1978, Dr. Briggs entered active military service and rose through the ranks to full Colonel. He served as a combat trauma surgeon during Operation Desert Storm and was awarded the Bronze Star during combat operations. With over 30 years of military service in command and leadership positions, Colonel Briggs in recent years completed combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq as a senior war trauma surgeon serving wounded American warriors.

Dr. Briggs has practiced heart and lung surgery for over 30 years in Knoxville. He has held academic appointments at the University of Texas-San Antonio, the University of Louisville, and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Dr. Briggs is a past president of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine and served on the Board of Trustees of the Tennessee Medical Association.

Honors and Awards

Presidents Award for Perfect 4.0 Average
in Undergraduate Studies, 1974

Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
University of Kentucky College of Medicine, 1978

1978 Good Physician Award
University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Bronze Star Medal, Operation Desert Storm
U.S. Army 1991

2006 Hero of the Year Award
Tennessee Hospital Association

2006 President’s Award
Knoxville Academy of Medicine

Leadership Knoxville
Class 2007-2008

2008 Distinguish Service Award
Tennessee Medical Association

2009 Outstanding Alumni Award
American Association of Community Colleges

2009 Health Care Hero Award
Knoxville Business Journal

2016 Public Policy Award Advocacy Award
National Alliance on Mental Health-Tennessee

2016 Legislative Leadership Award
Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty

2018 Legislator of the Year Award
Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors
Tennessee Association for Marriage & Family Therapy

2015 Health Care Coverage for All Award
Tennessee Health Care Campaign

2016 Appreciation Award
East Tennessee Historical Society

2015 Voice of Recovery Award
Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug, and Addition Services

2015 Legislator of the Year Award
Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

2015 Certificate of Appreciation
Tennessee Nurses Association

2017 Dedication to Public Service Award
Tennessee Chapter of the American Heart Association – Life is Why