Operation Underground Railroad has a new CEO. Here’s Tim Ballard’s replacement.

Tammy Lee, who served on a White House anti-trafficking group, will take the helm of OUR. She wants to expand into Minnesota, Florida and Washington, D.C.

(Courtesy Photo) — Operation Underground Railroad named Tammy Lee, shown here, as the group's new CEO on Tuesday. She replaces Tim Ballard, who was ousted from the anti-trafficking organization he founded in June amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Operation Underground Railroad named Tammy Lee as the group’s new chief executive officer Tuesday, replacing Tim Ballard, the founder of the anti-trafficking organization who was ousted last summer amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Lee was previously the founder and CEO of Xena Therapies, a Minnesota-based therapeutics company. Before that, she was president and CEO of Recombinetics, a bioengineering company focused on gene editing. She has also held senior corporate affairs positions at the hospitality and travel company Carlson, as well as the University of Minnesota Foundation, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines.

Lee also served on the White House Interagency Task Force to Combat Trafficking in Persons and in 2013 was honored by then-Secretary of State John Kerry with the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts in Combatting Trafficking in Persons.

“I am honored to serve as OUR’s CEO and grateful for the trust the board has placed in me to lead the organization into its next stage of growth and development,” Lee said in a statement.

Ballard founded OUR in 2013 and served as the nonprofit organization’s CEO and the most recognizable figure in the anti-trafficking movement until June 2023 when he left OUR following an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

Subsequently, multiple women have filed civil lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused and assaulted by Ballard. Criminal complaints have also been filed by two women against Ballard in Utah County and California. They also allege that OUR failed to take steps to protect the women, even though they knew of the allegations against Ballard.

Ballard’s legal team has argued in court filings that the women have concocted their allegations in an effort to extort money from Ballard.

Lee on Tuesday also announced that she plans an expansion of OUR, opening new satellite locations — to be called “Centers of Excellence” — in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Miami.

“Installing OUR’s new CEO is a significant milestone on our path of transformation,” said Sean Vassilaros, chairman of OUR’s board of directors. “Tammy’s passion for the mission and subject matter expertise, coupled with her impressive track record of experience as an organization builder, make her the ideal leader to steer OUR into the future and rebuild the trust of the anti-trafficking community.”

Earlier this month OUR revamped its board, which had been made up of several of Ballard’s long-time friends and family members.