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. From October, 2004 to October 2006 she served as the first Executive Director of the National Fair Housing Training Academy.
Beverly served for more than 12 years as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and served in numerous other leadership positions in Illinois, and Kentucky. She was one of the first Title IX Coordinators in the US at the Office for Civil Rights and has served as adjunct faculty in Sociology at Spalding University. She was Senior Consultant for Ralph G. Moore & Associates (RGMA) in Chicago assisting clients in developing strategic initiatives in operations, diversity and supplier diversity programs She has presented to numerous organizations on leadership, civil rights, diversity, and motivation at the local, national and international level.
Beverly Watts is a past President of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA) where she currently serves as the 1st Vice President. She currently serves on the Equal Educational Opportunities Group (EEOG) and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) Boards. She is a member of the TN Access to Justice Commission. She is a past Chair of Women Executives in State Government, has served on the CABLE Nashville and the YWCA of Middle Tennessee boards.
Beverly is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the 2019 CABLE Power of Inclusion Champion Award, the 2018 CABLE Spirit of Leadership Award, 2018 YWCA Academy of Women, 2016 YWCA Nashville Athena Nominee, the ECHO 2014 Dreamers Award, the 2014 Frances Dancy Hooks Award, the YWCA 2014 Carrie Hull Award, the City of Louisville Martin Luther King award and the 2005 induction into the KY Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
She is a graduate of Tennessee State University, Southern Illinois University. She has completed the Duke University Leadership Program for State Executives and the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Leadership Program.