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Linda O’Neal

Linda O'Neal retired after serving 30 years as executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY).

Linda O’Neal retired after serving 30 years as executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth (TCCY), a state agency that works to improve the quality of life for Tennessee children and families and provides leadership for other children’s advocates. In this role, Linda chaired state-level councils addressing children’s mental health and the challenges facing youth transitioning to adulthood, and was a member of the team that guided implementation of Building Strong Brains, a statewide initiative to prevent and mitigate the effects of adverse experiences in early childhood. She served on numerous other boards and committees focused on juvenile justice, children’s services, child development, and health and wellness. She has received recognition at the national, state, regional, and local level for her work in these areas.
Prior to joining TCCY, Linda provided legislative and administrative advocacy on behalf low-income people at the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services and chaired a statewide task force on children in foster care. Linda began her career working with children in foster care and was involved in juvenile justice system advocacy in Tennessee, including for the removal children from adult jails, and development of Tennessee’s first Rules of Juvenile Procedure and first record-keeping system for juvenile courts.
Linda currently serves on the board of directors for United Ways of Tennessee and chairs its Public Policy Committee. She was a founding board member of Tennessee Voices for Children and currently serves on its Advisory Council. She previously served on boards for the Tennessee Alliance of Legal Services; Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare; Metro Action Commission; Prevent Child Abuse Tennessee; and the inaugural KIDS COUNT Steering Committee. She holds a JD from the Nashville School of Law; a master’s in public administration from a joint program offered by University of Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State University; and a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

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