Jason’s career has been dedicated to raising up and advancing the interests of rural communities. As senior fellow at the Rural Center, he brings his experience linking research and over-the-horizon policy and program development to assist Center initiatives.
This is his “second tour-of-duty” at the Rural Center: From 2009 to 2013, he was director of the Office of Research and Innovation, and managed a diverse portfolio of research and grant-making projects. As a grant maker, Jason oversaw the strategic development and implementation of nearly $9 million of economic innovation grants for reinvigorating North Carolina’s manufacturing sector, alternative energy development, and sustainable tourism industry.
From 2013 through mid-2015, Jason was a consultant to community foundations across the nation seeking to better link philanthropy to community development. From 1997 to 2009, he was policy director at the Southern Rural Development Initiative, where he worked on rural philanthropy, tracking the flow of federal funding in rural America, and other projects. He started his career working on rural water policy issues at the Virginia Water Project and participated in a number of state and federal policy and regulatory negotiations.
He holds a master’s degree in regional planning from the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he held a fellowship at the Institute for Environmental Negotiation. Jason has a bachelor’s from Emory & Henry College, a small Methodist school in rural Southwestern Virginia.
A Virginia native, he got to North Carolina as soon as he could.