James M. Gifford
CEO & Senior Editor
James M. Gifford, a native of Shelbyville, Tennessee, received the B.A. from Maryville College in 1967; M.A. from Middle Tennessee State University in 1970; and the Ph.D. in history from the University of Georgia in 1977. He is a widely published scholar who had received professional awards as a teacher, editor, author, and publisher. For the past 37 years, he has served as the CEO & Senior Editor of the Jesse Stuart Foundation, a regional publishing house headquartered in Ashland, Kentucky.
In February 2022, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear presented Dr. Gifford with the Milner Award, the highest award given by the Kentucky Arts council, to honor his career as an educator, author, and publisher. Past recipients include Wendell Berry, Janice Holt Giles, Jesse Stuart, and Governor Paul Patton.
At age 78, Dr. Gifford is in good health and remains an active scholar. He is currently writing an autobiographical memoir and compiling and co-editing a book on the Depression in southeastern Kentucky and another on the Black experience in central Appalachia.