Phone: (512) 596-5417

2028 E. Ben White Blvd #240-5417
Austin, TX 78741

Tequilla Brownie


Our People

Dr. Tequilla Brownie is the Chief Executive Officer of TNTP where she leads all aspects of the organization’s efforts to transform education, so every young person, every generation, thrives.

Dr. Brownie’s own personal journey from a childhood spent in deep rural poverty to Yale to CEO of TNTP gives her a unique and timely perspective on the complexity of the public systems that undergird our nation. A researcher and school social worker, Dr. Brownie worked a decade in Memphis City Schools, leading efforts to increase teacher effectiveness.

She holds a BA in Psychology from Yale, an MS in Social Work from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, and an Ed.D in Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Memphis.

Dr. Brownie is a board member for Stand for Children, ForwARd Arkansas, Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network, Memphis Seeding Success, and Deans for Impact. She is also a Pahara Fellow, a Senior Fellow of FutureEd at Georgetown and a founding Leadership Committee member of Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC).

Why did you decide to join DFI’s board?
DFI’s belief that every child thrives, irrespective of background, income, or socioeconomic status, resonates with my own professional and personal passions.

What is one pivotal moment in your career that helped shape how you view your own role in advancing educational equity?
I had the honor of working with a district leader who modeled what it meant to demonstrate transformative and courageous leadership. It had a profound impact on my commitment to ask both the expected and unexpected questions to gain new insights, and then have the courage to act, even when it creates discomfort.

Describe a teacher or student who made a lasting impact in your life.
Though I was able to write my full name when I entered kindergarten, I chose to go by my nickname because it was only four letters. When Ms. Young - who incidentally looked like me - found out, she raised the bar and refused to let me take the easy way out. Even at five years old, I understood that she had high expectations of me. That early foundation of high expectations was instrumental to my academic success as a student.

What most excites you about the work of transforming educator preparation?
Transforming educator preparation has the potential for exponential impact, ensuring all students all access to effective, diverse educators.