Ted Townsend

Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer

EMAIL ME - 615-532-9060

J. Edward (Ted) Townsend III currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development where he oversees the department’s day-to-day affairs.  

Prior to becoming Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Townsend was assistant commissioner of strategy where he oversaw all rural programs—including Select Tennessee, ThreeStar, Tennessee Main Street, Tennessee Downtowns and Retire Tennessee—along with federal grant programs that include Community Development Block Grants, the Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Mr. Townsend has also served the department as TNECD regional director over the greater Memphis region comprised of Fayette, Lauderdale, Shelby and Tipton counties.

Additionally, Governor Haslam has appointed Mr. Townsend his official designee to the federal programs affiliation with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Delta Regional Authority.

Before joining TNECD, Mr. Townsend was the cofounder and COO of arGentis Pharmaceuticals LLC of Memphis, a privately held biopharmaceutical company involved in the licensing, development and commercialization of therapies for auto-immune and ophthalmic diseases. During his tenure, the company successfully raised $2 million in capital from angel and institutional investors.

A graduate of the University of Memphis, Mr. Townsend also served as executive vice president and managing partner of Agile Minds LLC, a consulting firm in health care and life sciences. He currently serves on the board of directors of arGentis, LifeScience Tennessee and the Memphis Research Consortium.