Amy L. Kovac-Ashley

Amy L. Kovac-Ashley will create a succession planning guide for small, independent local nonprofit and for-profit news organizations to help them grow into mature, thriving businesses that serve their communities and transition gracefully past their founding, startup stage.

“What happens when a leader who’s been around for a while — who might even be a founder — leaves? They can leave a pretty huge vacuum, and the organization can experience a lot of turmoil during the transition,” Kovac-Ashley said. “You want the news organizations to survive past these particular individuals and continue serving their communities.”

She emphasized that succession planning is not just about top leaders, but should include people throughout the organization who carry important institutional knowledge.

Kovac-Ashley worked at the American Press Institute for six years, most recently as executive vice president and chief of news transformation, and is now transitioning to a new role as head of national programs at the Lenfest Institute. She has more than two decades of experience in the industry as a working journalist, educator, and executive, and she currently serves as a member of the board of directors for Open Campus, a nonprofit news organization focused on higher education.