TNTP Announces New CEO

NEW YORK – TNTP, a leading national nonprofit organization that works with educators and districts to improve the quality of K-12 education, today announced that Tequilla Brownie, Ed.D., has been appointed CEO, effective January 1, 2022. Dan Weisberg, who has held the position since 2015, will step down from that role and will share his own next steps in the coming weeks.

Portrait of Dr. Tequilla BrownieDr. Brownie currently serves as the organization’s Executive Vice President of Strategy, Policy, and Community Coalitions. In this role, she has focused on improving local and national student outcomes and disrupting educational inequities to ensure all students have the opportunities they need to be successful. In her nine years at TNTP, she has overseen several key areas of the nonprofit’s work, including its consulting practice, organizational strategy, policy, and community coalitions. She has also led the organization’s expansion into rural districts and is driving its efforts to strengthen educator diversity by ensuring one million new teachers of color are added to the national teaching workforce.

Before joining TNTP, Dr. Brownie worked for nine years in Memphis City Schools, where she led a nationally acclaimed initiative to improve student outcomes by increasing teacher effectiveness, supported by a $90 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“I grew up in a family that believed deeply in the power of education to move people out of poverty,” Dr. Brownie said. “That belief has propelled me throughout my own life and is what drew me to TNTP’s mission and vision. We absolutely must ensure that public education gives every child the opportunities they need to reach their full potential—along with all the social and economic benefits that come from that. I know we can not only dramatically improve learning in schools across the country, but also open doors to opportunities that will ultimately interrupt cycles of intergenerational poverty.”

Raised by grandparents who were sharecroppers in the Mississippi Delta, Dr. Brownie is a graduate of the Rivercrest School District in rural Arkansas. She went on to graduate from Yale University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and then earned her master’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as well as an Ed.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Memphis.

“TNTP could not have found a better CEO for this moment,” said Kaya Henderson, CEO of Reconstruction. “Tequilla’s credentials, background, and breadth of experience give her the kind of credibility necessary to chart a path forward with solutions grounded in what families and communities are demanding to ensure students have access to educational opportunities that lead to social and economic mobility.”

TNTP works to expand educational opportunity by supporting teachers, principals, and other leaders in school systems throughout the country in strengthening teaching and learning. That work has been in high demand, and the organization has grown rapidly in recent years.

“In appointing Dr. Tequilla Brownie as its next CEO, TNTP and its partners across the country are getting a steadfast leader and advocate for all students in K-12 education,” said Caryl M. Stern, Executive Director of the Walton Family Foundation. “She’ll be relentless in making sure schools work for every learner, and she’ll also be a consensus builder who brings more champions into the work—during a time when it’s desperately needed.”

Weisberg served TNTP for 12 years. During his time as CEO, he oversaw the development and launch of TNTP’s highest-impact study and most ambitious public engagement strategy with the 2018 release of The Opportunity Myth, which has drawn over 165,000 unique visitors and resulted in over 550 briefings, over 12,000 downloads of tools, and over 40 national education leaders signing on to its commitments. Today, TNTP has a staff of nearly 500 education professionals, has an annual operating budget of over $90 million, and works directly with more than 300 school systems in 35 states.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to lead our team at TNTP,” Weisberg said. “I’ve known Tequilla for nearly a decade, and I couldn’t be happier that she’s stepping up. She is a brilliant and accomplished leader who understands our work at the deepest level, and is exactly the right person to lead TNTP’s next chapter.”

“My success can’t be explained just by my personal strengths and attributes,” said Dr. Brownie. “There have been teachers and mentors all along my journey willing and able to recognize, support, and develop those strengths. Dan has been one of those people for me. I will always respect and admire him for that.”

“We thank Dan for his outstanding leadership and vision, which has shaped the organization TNTP is today, allowing us to expand our reach to support even more educators and students and deepen our impact,” said TNTP Board Chairman Luis Avila. “Tequilla has lived the challenges and the promise of public education in our country, and she sees our work from the perspective of the students we seek to serve, making her uniquely prepared to lead TNTP forward.”

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

Learn More About TNTP