Sarah Trahern (C’86)

Country Music Association


With extensive television and executive experience and a deeply-rooted passion for country music, Sarah Trahern is perfectly suited for her role as CEO of the Country Music Association. She has oversight of three highly rated network television specials plus one of the biggest country music festivals in the world; she is also president of the CMA Foundation, which supports music education initiatives across the U.S.

A 1986 graduate of Georgetown University with an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, Trahern has more than 30 years of experience in the TV industry, including 22 years producing and creating Country Music content. She began her career at C-SPAN in Washington, D.C. covering politics and public affairs, before moving to Nashville in 1995 to oversee specials and entertainment series for TNN. In 2005, she joined Great American Country, where she was quickly promoted to SVP of Programing and in 2010 became general manager of the network. She was named CEO of CMA on Jan. 1, 2014 and has earned a reputation as a leader with vision who values relationships. Trahern was recently recognized as one of the Nashville Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEOs” and was named “Executive of the Year” in Billboard’s 2017 Country Power Players list.

She also serves her community through associations with the Monroe Carroll Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Georgetown University’s Baker Scholar program, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, Nashville Mayor’s Music Council, Leadership Nashville, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, and the 2018 NFL Draft Committee.