Amy L. Kovac-Ashley

Head of National Programs

Amy L. Kovac-Ashley is The Lenfest Institute’s Head of National Programs.

She was most recently Executive Vice President and Chief of News Transformation at the American Press Institute, where her portfolio encompassed all of API’s Journalism programs. Those include accountability journalism; diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB); and organizational transformation and culture change, a major piece of which is the Table Stakes program. She was the creator and nurturer of the Table Stakes Alumni Network, its programming and newsletter. During her tenure at API, she designed and led API’s adviser and community listening programs and was a principal architect of API’s Listening and Sustainability Lab

Amy has been an adviser and coach to news leaders on cultural change and DEIB initiatives, including mentorship programs, and was an adviser to the ONA Journalism Mentorship Collaborative in 2018. She cares deeply about the sustainability of local news — for communities, news organizations and the people who work in them. She is interested in finding new ways to support talent development in news organizations and to facilitate peer learning. 

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit news organization Open Campus Media.

Prior to her work at API, Amy worked as a journalism educator. She was the managing director of West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media Innovation Center and the assistant dean of Georgetown University’s master’s in journalism program. She has taught journalism ethics, media writing, media law and Capstone courses. 

Amy spent a dozen years as a professional journalist, with most of her time working in print or digital news. She reported on education and other local affairs at The Herald News and The Roanoke Times and was an editor at Foreign Policy magazine, and The Washington Post, where she was the paper’s first social media editor. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Originally from Southern California, she now lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and dog.

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