Phyllis Y. Nichols

President & CEO
Knoxville Area Urban League


Phyllis Y. Nichols, President & CEO
Knoxville Area Urban League

Phyllis Young Nichols joined the Knoxville Area Urban League as a curriculum and education specialist in l994 after many years in public education and private business. Having served in several program and administration positions, Ms. Nichols became President & Chief Executive Officer in 2000.

A strong advocate and champion of youth leadership development and education, Ms. Nichols developed the KAUL Digital Academy - an after school technology based program to provide underserved minority youth tutoring, mentoring and supervised access to technology to the wide range of content and information on the Internet.

A servant leader, her community involvement includes serving on the boards of these organizations:

  • American Red Cross
  • Jr. Achievement of East Tennessee
  • Economic Ventures, Inc.
  • Knox Heritage
  • Great Schools Partnership Foundation


  • University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Associates
  • PSTCC President’s Associates
  • Leadership Knoxville Class of 2003
  • Leadership Knoxville Curriculum Committee
  • Rotary Club of Knoxville
  • Executive Women’s Association
  • East TN Regional Working Group for the TDOT Long-Range Transportation Plan


  • Metro Task Force Against Hate Acts and Crimes
  • Jackson Avenue Redevelopment Advisory Committee
  • Knox County Fair Housing Commission
  • Advisory Committee for the Heart of Knox Career Center
  • Nine Counties One Vision Diversity Taskforce Trustee at Mount Calvary Baptist Church

Phyllis Young Nichols earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology
from East Tennessee State University, and her master’s in education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She and her husband Jim have two adult daughters.