Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer

Tennesseans for Quality Early Education

Nashville, TN   |   August 5, 2020

About TQEE

TQEE is a bipartisan coalition of Tennesseans fighting to ensure our children get the quality early education they need to power our state’s future. TQEE’s coalition includes leaders from business, faith, education, and civic organizations, locally elected and appointed officials, and many parents and grandparents, teachers, caregivers, law enforcement from across Tennessee.

TQEE knows that building a strong early education foundation from birth to 3rd grade is the key to academic achievement, workforce success and economic prosperity. Our mission is to advance state policy that ensures all Tennessee children get that foundation.

To accomplish our mission, we serve as Tennessee’s “go-to” source for evidence-informed, cost-effective, publicly supported policy proposals; we support state political leaders to be champions for quality early education; and we mobilize advocates and amplify their voices so they are empowered to hold their state government accountable.

Our policy priorities focus on engaging and empowering parents, providing affordable, quality childcare, supporting excellent teaching and curriculum, and employing strong accountability and continuous improvement systems for all state-funded early education programs and schools.

For more information on TQEE please visit our website.

The Opportunity

TQEE seeks a passionate leader who will spearhead the organization’s efforts to advocate for effective early education policy, mobilize the voices of advocates state-wide, and persuade state legislators to adopt and support sound early education policies. The CEO will provide overall leadership and management of the organization, with particular emphasis on advocacy strategy and operations, directing the organization’s policy agenda, fundraising, and stakeholder relations.

Reporting to and partnering closely with an active Board of Directors, the CEO will set a clear vision and provide thoughtful, strategic direction to a growing, entrepreneurial organization. The CEO will be excited by the work done in the first 4 years of TQEE’s tenure as well as energized by the possibilities that lie ahead for leading within an organization amidst a landscape that is changing and evolving rapidly. At a time when leaders across all sectors are grappling with the impact of Covid-19 to their work and the constituents they serve, the CEO of TQEE will not be daunted by this but will thoughtfully and intentionally find ways to chart a course for achieving quality early education for every child in Tennessee.

The CEO will be charged with fulfilling the organization’s mission and further elevating TQEE as the leading voice advocating for quality early education across the state of Tennessee. The CEO will bring significant experience and understanding of the education policy landscape and will have a deep familiarity with advocacy as well as navigating legislative processes – preferably in Tennessee or a neighboring state.

This role is a full-time, exempt role that will be based in the Nashville, TN area.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have the following professional and personal qualities, skills, and characteristics:

Early Education Advocate

Strong knowledge of the early education sector and a grasp of the root causes of, and solutions for, educational challenges and disparities. Familiarity with early education policy, ideally at both the state and federal levels. Experience with, and understanding of, processes and approaches for starting and sustaining advocacy movements and political/issue campaigns.

Visionary Leader

Demonstrated success leading and growing an organization — ideally, one with a sophisticated partnership structure. They will bring an inspirational, innovative, and entrepreneurial approach to growth and impact, including a demonstrated ability to build support for ambitious goals and drive measurable outcomes.

Strategic Influencer

Exceptional ability to influence others to action without direct authority. High degree of confidence in navigating various circles (business, nonprofit, political, grassroots, etc.) and spaces with ease and comfort. Ability to persuade and inspire utilizing excellent communication and diplomacy skills to achieve outcomes with a variety of audiences.

Resourceful Entrepreneur and Change Manager

Success positioning organizations to be agile, creative, and responsive to risk, change, and opportunity. Experience and enthusiasm for leading the development and implementation of thoughtful short- and long-term strategies that drive outcomes. Ability to pivot quickly and be resourceful and energetic in responding to evolving circumstances and opportunities.

Authentic Relationship Builder

An exceptional communicator and relationship builder, the CEO will represent TQEE externally with a variety of stakeholders and partners in the public and private sectors. They will understand how to raise the visibility and profile of TQEE and build a network of relationships and alliances that grows the organization’s position as a leader and voice of impact in the early education policy and advocacy field. The CEO is a natural bridge-builder and unifier.

Experienced Fundraiser

Determined and motivated, the CEO will bring demonstrated success meeting ambitious growth goals and securing gifts from a range of funders, from institutions to individual donors, foundations, and corporations. Dynamic, energetic, and creative, they will inspire confidence in the Board, donors, partners, and other constituents.

Compensation & Benefits

Compensation and benefits are competitive and commensurate with experience.


Koya Leadership Partners, the executive search firm that specializes in mission-driven search, has been exclusively retained for this engagement. Miecha Ranea Forbes and Christy Farrell are leading this search. To make recommendations or to express your interest in this role please visit this link or email [email protected] or [email protected]. All nominations, inquiries, and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.


TQEE is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientationgender identity/expression, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, or any other basis protected by law.

About Koya Leadership Partners

Koya Leadership Partners, a member of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit