After an extensive local and national search, the Nashville Public Education Foundation (NPEF) board of directors announced today that Katie Cour, education consultant and former executive director of Talent Strategy at Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), will become the new president and CEO effective Nov. 12.
Over the past several years, the Foundation has seen dramatic growth and success that has solidified its role as the vision and engine for change in Nashville’s public education system. Foundation leaders say that Cour’s appointment is an opportunity to bring in fresh thinking, expertise and perspective to continue driving that progress forward.
“With her deep background and expertise in education on both the local and national levels, we believe that Katie truly sees Nashville’s needs and potential, and that her leadership will take the Foundation to new heights,” said Wanda Lyle, NPEF board chairwoman.
Cour, a Nashville native, comes to the Foundation with decades of experience in the political, education and nonprofit sectors. She is currently running her own consulting company, Cour Consulting, through which she has become a trusted adviser to several state education departments, as well as the Public Education Foundation of Chattanooga and the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.
Beyond her national education policy and strategic planning experience, Cour also brings a wealth of Nashville knowledge to the table and has expertise in teacher and leader recruitment, development, and retention strategies – a core pillar of the NPEF’s work. While working as the executive director of Talent Strategy at MNPS, Cour collaborated on and implemented several innovative programs, including the district’s New Teacher Academy, an aspiring teacher residency model with Belmont University, and a scholarship program with Lipscomb University to further expand the pipelines for aspiring teachers. She also led the MNPS and the Mayor’s Office’s collaboration on reinventing the district’s approach to managing and supporting teachers and leaders as a consultant with Education First from 2010–2012.
Cour began her career working for several youth-focused nonprofits, including Close Up Foundation; Reading is Fundamental, Inc.; Achieve, Inc.; and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. She went on to spend over five years at the Tennessee Office of the Comptroller’s Education Accountability division, working on education policy for the General Assembly.
Cour is a graduate of Northwestern University and Georgetown University, where she earned her master’s degree in public policy with a concentration in education. She and her husband, Dave, an environmental scientist, are the parents of Henry, a 10th-grader, and Romy, a –ninth-grader.