Ecology + Justice + Culture in the American South

Our board

Katie Fogleman, vice president of digital strategy, Burness

Katie is a native North Carolinian and perennial optimist who works at Burness to advance social change through communication. Katie works with nonprofits across issue areas—from education to health to climate change and more—to help them communicate their work in simple, compelling ways. She then crafts digital strategies to help amplify those messages, whether that’s through video, social media, partner engagement, email, websites or something else entirely.

Since graduating from Duke University with a degree in international studies and history, she has taught middle school Spanish in rural northeastern North Carolina, produced videos in all sorts of places—from Appalachia to the Bronx to Switzerland—and helped develop and implement international media campaigns to draw attention to environmental and human rights issues while on the global practice at Burness.

Dee Davis, founder and president of the Center for Rural Strategies

Dee has helped design and lead national public information campaigns on topics as diverse as commercial television programming and federal banking policy. Dee began his media career in 1973 as a trainee at Appalshop, an arts and cultural center devoted to exploring Appalachian life and social issues in Whitesburg, Kentucky. As Appalshop’s executive producer, the organization created more than 50 public TV documentaries, established a media training program for Appalachian youth, and launched initiatives that use media as a strategic tool in organization and
development.

Dee is the chair of the National Rural Assembly steering committee; he is a member of the Rural Advisory Committee of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Fund for Innovative Television, and Feral Arts of Brisbane, Australia. He is also a member of the Institute for Rural Journalism’s national advisory board. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Work and the Economy. Dee is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences commission on the Practice of
Democratic Citizenship. Dee is also the former Chair of the board of directors of Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.

Kate Schimel, Managing editor, SearchlightNM

Kate is an experienced, award-winning editor and writer living in the American West. She is the managing editor of SearchlightNM, an investigative news outlet in New Mexico. Before that, she was topics editor at Colorado Public Radio, where she oversaw coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as transportation, business, education, and health. She has also worked as deputy editor at High Country News, and covered rural and Denver schools for Chalkbeat Colorado.