Jessie Garcia Knowles is TLACC’s first-ever executive director, returning to Nashville in 2019 after six years in California, where she worked in leadership development with area nonprofits and higher education institutions. She had previously served as an assistant dean of students at Lipscomb University and as director of Latino Achievers with the YMCA of Middle Tennessee.

Garcia Knowles has served on boards and committees of several civic institutions, including TLACC, the Nashville Public Library and Metro Nashville Public Schools. She is fully bilingual, and enjoys building community engagement around effective storytelling and authentic relationships.


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