Molly Sears

Chief Financial Officer

Molly Sears will serve as the chief financial officer for NIET. In this role, Molly will provide leadership, management, and oversight for all fiscal activities related to the operations of NIET. Prior to joining NIET Molly served as the vice president of finance and operations at the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education where she was the strategic leader of and responsible for all aspects of the organization's critical infrastructure, including financial management, business operations, HR, and IT. Additionally, Molly oversaw the organization's grant management, impact monitoring and events management.

Previously, Molly served as director of finance and operations for the Division of Curriculum and Instruction at the Tennessee Department of Education where she managed the division's federal, state and private funding to further its work.

Molly began her career as a financial and officer manager for Civic Enterprises, a public policy research firm located in Washington, D.C. Molly earned bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration at the University of Arkansas.

 Molly  Sears

Who was your favorite teacher?

Mr. Andy Ritter from Joplin, Missouri. I was fortunate to have Mr. Ritter for several different classes, the most impactful being senior year independent study. He transformed the class into a 101 on the college admissions process and a crash course in independently managing deadlines and work. As a first generation college student, he helped me see that college was the right option for me, that it was a place I could be successful, and then he helped me and my family navigate the process.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?

Math. I loved the challenge of math – trying to understand the different concepts was addictive. Every time I thought there was no way I would ever understand, a teacher would say one thing or I would see a problem or concept in a different way and it would click. That "click" moment kept me coming back for more and now I get to do math professionally. I still find it just as exciting!

What do you do in your free time?

I love to travel, run, try new restaurants, go to concerts, and spend time with family, friends, and my dog, Dilly.