Organizational affiliations of non-academic members are listed only for identification purposes.


  • Jennifer P. Brown, former editor, Kentucky New Era, Hopkinsville; co-chair for progamming
  • Dr. Nancy L. Green, Richmond, Ind., former newspaper executive; co-chair for development
  • Constance Alexander, independent writer and playwright, Murray, Ky.
  • Tom Bethell, independent journalist, Editorial Services, Washington, D.C.
  • Dr. Terry Birdwhistell, former dean, University of Kentucky Libraries
  • Bill Bishop, founding co-publisher, Daily Yonder; author, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart
  • James Branscome, retired Standard & Poor's equity research managing director, McGraw-Hill Cos.
  • Dr. Alice Brown, Burlington, N.C., president emeritus, Appalachian College Association
  • Marie Cirillo, founder, Clearfork Community Collaborative, Eagan, Tenn.
  • Jim Clinton, CEO, Cenla Advantage Partnership, Alexandria, La.; former president, Southern Growth Policies Bd.
  • Dee Davis, president, Center for Rural Strategies, Whitesburg, Ky.
  • Robert M. 'Mike' Duncan, president, Inez (Ky.) Deposit Bank; member and former chair, Republican National Committee; former chair, Tennessee Valley Authority
  • Tom Eblen, retired managing editor and columnist, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader
  • Dr. Ron Eller, retired University of Kentucky historian and author, Uneven Ground: Appaalchia Since 1945; former director, UK Appalachian Center; co-principal investigator on initiative to create the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
  • Ben Gish, editor, The Mountain Eagle, Whitesburg, Ky.
  • William Greider, national affairs correspondent, The Nation; author, Who Will Tell the People? and The Education of David Stockman and other books
  • Dr. Elizabeth Hansen, Lexington, Ky., IRJCI Steering Committee chair; retired Foundation Professor of Journalism, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Bob Hendrickson , former publisher, Ledger-Independent, Maysville, Ky.
  • Peter Hille, executive diredctor, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Berea, Ky.
  • Alex Jones, retired director, Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Beverly Kirk, International Security Program outreach director and Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative director, Center for Strategic and International Studies; former anchor, News Channel 8 (WJLA-TV); Washington, D.C.
  • Hilda Gay Legg, USDA Rural Development Kentucky director; former Rural Utilities Service administrator and Appalachian Regional Commission alternate co-chair
  • William Leonard, founding dean, Wake Forest University. Divinity School, Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Alan Lowe, director, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, Ill.
  • Homer F. Marcum, Kingsport, Tenn., former publisher, The Martin Countian, Inez, Ky.
  • Lois Mateus, past chair; partner in redevelopment of East Market Street in Louisville; contributor to The Harrodsburg Herald; former Brown-Forman Corp. executive
  • Judy J. Owens, Appalachian director, Steele-Reese Foundation, Lexington, Ky.
  • O. Leonard Press, founding director, Kentucky Educational Television, Lexington
  • Rita Ray, former executive director, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Charleston
  • John Rosenberg, founding director, Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Prestonsburg, Ky.
  • Jamie Ross, producer and co-writer, James Agee Film Project, Charlottesville, Va.
  • Renee Shaw, producer, Kentucky Educational Television, Lexington
  • Robert Slaton, past chair, Georgetown, Ky; consultant and former Kentucky commissioner of public health
  • Howard 'Ed' Staats, former Kentucky bureau chief, The Associated Press, Louisville
  • Al Smith, chair emeritus, Lexington, Ky.; former host of "Comment on Kentucky;" former owner and editor of Kentucky and Tennessee newspapers; former Appalachian Regional Commission federal co-chair
  • Robert Turner , Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Tennessee
  • Tim Waltner, publisher, Freeman Courier, Freeman, S.D.
  • Paul Wesslund, fomer vice president for communications, Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives
  • Jesse White, former federal co-chair, Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Jill Wilson, former president, West Virginia Humanities Council, Cottageville, W. Va.

Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
School of Journalism and Media, College of Communication and Information Studies, University of Kentucky
343 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, #206-208, Lexington KY 40506-0012
Phone 859-257-3744 - Fax 859-323-3168

Al Cross, director and professor al.cross@uky.edu; Twitter @ruralj