Deb: Welcome, Linda!

Linda Ketchum, new 49 Writers Executive Director (as of Jan. 1)

Last week we announced that the 49 Writers board of directors selected Linda Ketchum from a field of truly remarkable candidates to serve as our Executive Director.  Linda will do a proper introduction of herself when she takes the reins in January, but in modesty she likely won’t share the details that so impressed the board.
Born and raised in Scotland, Linda arrived in Alaska in 1985 by way of Brussels, London, and the rest of the world. She was determined to be a travel writer on the strength of some freelance work for a small London magazine, but became sidetracked for 20 years until enrolling in the MFA program at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Meanwhile, she gained experience in Alaska’s nonprofit sector as a volunteer, program manager, executive director, and board member, and as a consultant focusing on nonprofit capacity-building. Her volunteer work includes terms as board president of an adult literacy project and the Mat-Su Borough Library Board. 
Her background ranges from serving as executive director of a nonprofit with a $3 million budget to running a small all-volunteer organization as board president.  She has led strategic planning, developed and monitored budgets, developed and designed a small business web portal, initiated fund development, developed successful grant proposals, recruited and trained instructors, and promoted a variety of programs.  She has won awards for her work in literacy and for excellence in partner development.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in languages at the University of Edinburgh and completed her Master of Education in Adult Education at UAA. For four years, she taught a graduate course in social entrepreneurship at UAA’s College of Business & Public Policy. In spring 2012, Linda will graduate with her MFA in creative nonfiction. 
Linda has been a supporter and member of 49 Writers/49 Alaska Writing Center since our beginning.  “I have been impressed by how much the organization has already accomplished in less than two years through the dedicated efforts of its founders and volunteers,” she wrote in the cover letter that went to the board.  “I believe wholeheartedly in your mission.”
She’ll officially take over on January 1, but already Linda is volunteering her time to help plan board training and other upcoming activities.  Those who know her can attest to our good fortune; those who don’t can look forward to making a fine friend.  Beyond Linda’s tremendous resume, she has a gracious presence and a true passion for the literary community.  Welcome, Linda!

3 thoughts on “Deb: Welcome, Linda!”

  1. Congratulations to both Linda and 49 Writers! You couldn't have chosen a better person for the position. Wonderful news!

  2. Congrats, welcome, and thanks so much to Deb and Andromeda for all you've done and continue to do. Looking forward to getting to know Linda!

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