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Beverly Watts

Executive Director
Tennessee Human Rights Commission

Nashville native Beverly L. Watts was appointed the Executive Director of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission in July 2007. Prior to her current appointment she served as Special Advisor to the Chair at the U S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission responsible for state and local relations. She has more than 30 years of experience in civil rights enforcement and education in the public and private sector. She served as the first Executive Director of the National Fair Housing Training Academy in Washington DC. 

Beverly has served as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights; Director of Management Advisory Services for the Ralph G. Moore and Associates; Regional Director of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Executive Director, Illinois Minority and Female Business Enterprise Council and as one of the first Title IX coordinators in the country during her tenure at the US Office for Civil Rights. She was an adjunct faculty member at Spalding University.  She has made presentations to numerous organizations on civil rights, diversity, and leadership at the national and international level.  

Beverly is a Past President of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA) where she represented IAOHRA throughout the US, Canada and at the UN World Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa. She currently serves as the IAOHRA Southern Region Representative and Annual Conference Planning Chair. She has served as Chair of Women Executives in State Government and currently serves as the Mission Advisor to the Cable Board and on the board of the YWCA of Middle Tennessee and is a life member of the NAACP.

 Beverly is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2014 NAACP Frances Dancy Hooks Award, 2014 ECHO Dreamers Award, 2014 YWCA Carrie Hull Award, the City of Louisville Martin Luther King award and induction into the KY Civil Rights Hall of Fame. 

She is a graduate of Tennessee State University, Southern Illinois University, and has completed Executive leadership programs at Duke University and the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.


Direct Reports

  • Sabrina Hooper
    Deputy Director