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Richard Kennedy

Executive Director
Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth

Richard L. Kennedy, a native Middle Tennessean, was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY) in June 2018. The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth is an independent state agency with the mission to lead systems improvement for all children, youth, and families through data-driven advocacy, education, and collaboration.  The commission was created by the Tennessee General Assembly and is required to serve as an informational resource and advocacy agency for the efficient and effective planning, enhancement and coordination of state, regional and local policies, programs, and services to promote and protect the health, well-being and development of all children and youth in Tennessee.

Kennedy began his tenure with TCCY in October 2000 first serving as one of the Child and Family Ombudsmen for Tennessee.  In January 2006, Kennedy was promoted to serve as TCCY’s Director of Field Operations and provided leadership for the state’s nine regional councils on children and youth. Again, in 2011 Kennedy was promoted to serve as TCCY’s Associate Executive Director and served in this role until being appointed executive director in 2018.

Kennedy has spent his entire professional career working directly with and advocating for children and youth. Prior to joining the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, Kennedy worked with the Davidson County Community Services Agency, Camelot, Hermitage Hall, and the Greater New Orleans Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Lambuth University in Jackson, Tennessee, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Trevecca University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Kennedy is an alumnus of LEAD Tennessee, The Tennessee Government Management Institute, and The Tennessee Government Executive Institute. He was an inaugural member of the Tennessee Government Leadership Council. His involvement in the community includes having served on the Board of Directors for Nurture the Next, both as a Member and Board Chair, The Tennessee Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, and the United Ways of Tennessee, where he is currently serving as Board Chair.  He has also volunteered as a Big Brother with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Nashville.