TasCOSS chief executive Kim Goodes has "unequivocally" ruled out a career in politics after she steps down next year,
"I think society is strongest when there is a balance of political and civic leaders and I have greatly enjoyed the civic leadership role at TasCOSS but have no desire to enter into a career in politics" Ms Goodes said.
"It's important in the two year lead in to the state and federal election that a new CEO has the opportunity to establish themselves and the social reform agenda in the context of an election.
"I also believe an organisation such as TasCOSS needs renewal about every five years to ensure it remains relevant and contemporary.
"I have given my heart and soul to the role and as such it is important to me that I hand it over at the right time - which is now."
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Ms Goodes said under her leadership the organisation had been "a strong, fierce voice to government on many issues" that lead to inequality and poverty.
"The results - in state budget allocations, policy and legislative reforms - have been significant," she said.
"It is critical for any peak body to have a strong working relationship with the government of the day. It is rare that a purely adversarial and critical approach will get outcomes.
"TasCOSS has focused on solutions and good public policy reform agendas in our work with the government and I am extremely proud of the high number and level of outcomes this has achieved."
The TasCoss Board will next week begin a selection process to replace Ms Goodes who has been in the post for five years.
In an email to members she said while sad would be sad to leave late in February TasCOSS was "humming".
Premier Will Hodgman and Labor leader Rebecca White have both paid tribute to Ms Goodes' leadership.
"Kym's advocacy resulted in the Government partnering with TasCOSS and the TCCI in the $4 million Jobs Action Plan, which has seen positive outcomes in regional communities to break down barriers to participate in work and training," Mr Hodgman said.
"It was her ability to describe the needs of these communities and define locally-driven solutions that has helped the successful implementation of the Plan.
"Kym's successor will certainly have big shoes to fill and I wish her all the best in her future endeavours."
Ms White said Ms Goodes' work had helped "shape public debate on important issues such as housing, education and inter-generational poverty".
"Her ability to bring the community sector together and actively work towards a whole of government approach to healthy communities is to be commended and we thank her particularly for her work on empowering communities and connecting people with jobs in order to overcome disadvantage," she said.
"Kym's commitment to ensuring people less fortunate always have a voice was evident even this week, with the release of the TCCI's Tasmania Report."
Health and Community Services Union secretary Tim Jacobson said given the number of Tasmanians in poverty and the "issues in the housing and health sector I hope we get a strong advocate who will stand up without fear or favour".
"We need someone who is not afraid to speak out against government policies which are seeing Tasmanians suffer every day of their lives with long waits in hospital emergency departments and for a roof over their heads," Mr Jacobson said.
"This government is not being held to account and the community sector is not speaking out often enough."
Ms Goodes plans to reestablish her previous advisory and consulting business 3P Advisory.