Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Tomeka Hart serves as a Senior Program Officer, US Policy, Advocacy and Communications for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading grant making to civil rights and equity organizations.
She previously served as the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Institutional Advancement for the Southern Education Foundation (SEF), leading and supporting SEF’s work to improve student outcomes from early childhood to adulthood, helping the CEO and staff to implement a broad range of advocacy, research, and coalition building activities across the Southern region.
Prior to SEF, she served as the Vice President of African American Community Partnerships for Teach for America, where she was responsible for building alliances within the African American community, including civil rights groups, policy organizations, HBCUs, and media outlets. Prior to joining Teach For America, Hart served as the president and CEO of the Memphis Urban League. She is a former middle/high school teacher, and a former labor/employment lawyer.
Hart served two terms on the elected Memphis City Schools Board of Education, serving 2005-2013. She served as Board President 2008-2009. In 2010, Hart joined with a colleague and led the efforts to merge the Memphis City and Shelby County school systems.
In 2011 Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Hart as a Commissioner of the Education Commission of the States, a national non-partisan organization that helps states develop education policies. Former Tennessee Governor, Phil Bredesen, selected her for Tennessee’s Race to the Top team, and he appointed her to the state’s Teacher Evaluation Advisory Committee, and the First to the Top Advisory Council.
Hart is an Aspen Institute Rodel-Fellowship in Public Leadership fellow and a Pahara-Aspen Institute Education Fellow, and has served on several non-profit boards.
Tomeka Hart holds a B.S. degree in Marketing Education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; an M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University; and a J.D. from the University of Memphis.