Dr. Macel Ely

Dr. Macel Ely serves as Director of Organizational Improvement for the University of Tennessee’s Institute for Public Service where he serves as a leading champion for the institute’s strategic plan as well as providing solid solutions for organizational improvement and performance measures. In addition to these duties, he is frequently called upon to provide leadership development, training, consulting, and coaching for state government executives.

Prior to his current position, Dr. Ely served as the executive director of the Naifeh Center for Effective Leadership where he provided leadership training for state legislators and other state and local government managers and executives. His partnership with the Tennessee Department of Human Resources included overseeing programs like the Tennessee Government Executive Institute (TGEI) and the Tennessee Government Management Institute (TGMI). He also was instrumental in the development of the state’s Tennessee Government Professionals Institute (TGPI) and the Tennessee Certified Public Manager’s (CPM) Program.

Dr. Ely serves as a board member for various charities and non-profit organizations and belongs to a number of professional associations. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Lee University and Kentucky Wesleyan College along with a master’s degree in public administration and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Tennessee. He currently serves as an official Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and holds the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) credential through the Association for Talent Development.

In 2011, he authored a book entitled Ain’t No Grave, which was featured in such media outlets as CNN Headline News, National Public Radio, British Broadcasting Corporation and others. This literary work was nominated for best historical research by the Association of Recorded Sound Collections in 2012. He and his wife, Jamie, reside in Walland, TN.