C A R E E R
State Representative and Assistant Majority Leader ● Vermont General Assembly • November 2018 to present
First elected November 2018 to represent Bennington-4 district and elected Assistant Majority Leader in December 2021. House General and Housing Committee (ranking member). Member House Rules, Joint Rules and Joint Legislative Management committees. Member of Climate Solutions Caucus, Rural Caucus and Social Equity Caucus. Successfully launched rural broadband task force in Bennington County that led to formation of SoVT Communications Union District, named one of 12 Vital Economic Projects for the region.
Appointments: New England Board of Higher Education (2019 to present), Select Committee on Future of Public Higher Education in Vermont (2020), Task Force on the Implementation of the Pupil Weighting Factors Report (2021), Vermont State University Presidential Search and Screen Committee (2021)
Honors and Awards: Vermont Conservation Voters Rising Star (2019), Council of State Governments Robert L. Thompson Eastern Leadership Academy (2021), National Conference of State Legislatures Emerging Leaders Program (2021), State Legislative Leaders Foundation Emerging Legislative Leaders Program (2022), Council of State Governments Toll Fellow (2022).
Director of Communications • Kenya Drylands Education Fund • December 2021 to present
Consultant (March to December 2021) and Communications Director (starting December 2021) for innovative nonprofit that breaks down barriers to education access for ultra-poor students in Northern Kenya. Work with co-founders on fundraising, communications, grant writing and social media outreach.
Editor-in-Chief ● International Skiing History Association ● August 2010 to January 2021
Editor-in-chief of Skiing History, bimonthly print and online journal of the nonprofit International Skiing History Association (ISHA). Planned, assigned and edited all articles; researched and procured relevant photos; supervised graphic designers and freelance writers; oversee editorial budget. Operations Director/Executive Director: Jan 2015 to Jan 2020: Oversaw ISHA’s daily operations. Direct responsibilities included membership retention, marketing, fundraising and managing a part-time staff. After 10 years with ISHA, serving in both part- and full-time roles, I resigned in January 2021 to focus on my legislative work.
Communications Director ● The BOMA Project ● August 2010 to December 2017
As communications director, I developed all fundraising and communications materials for an innovative international nonprofit that implements poverty graduation program for ultra-poor women in rural Kenya, including grant proposals and reports, annual appeals and reports, quarterly reports, press releases, fundraising campaigns and other materials.
Founder and sole proprietor ● Kathleen James Communications ● 2006 to 2010
Clients included Design New England (freelance writer), Stratton (freelance writer), and the Southern Vermont Arts Center (2007 outreach coordinator). National Awards: 2009 Silver Eddie, FOLIO: Magazine (feature article), 2009 Silver Medal, National Association of Real Estate Editors (feature article).
Editor ● Vermont Magazine ● January 2008 to December 2010
Editor of regional bimonthly lifestyle magazine. Planned, assigned and edited all articles and photography; worked with freelance writers and photographers; managed editorial budget; consulted on direct mail and marketing materials; wrote feature articles about people, places and events across the state of Vermont.
Director of Admissions ● Southern Vermont College ● Oct 2004 to September 2006
Led admissions office at career-oriented, private liberal arts college. Created marketing strategy for recruiting efforts, planned and executed direct-mail and print advertising campaigns, developed promotional materials, managed staff, organized events, evaluated applications and awarded scholarships.
Co-Owner ● Battenkill Communications ● April 1999 to June 2003
Co-founder, co-owner and editor of magazine publishing and communications firm. Titles: Brew Your Own, the nation’s largest-circulation magazine for homebrewers; WineMaker, North America’s only magazine for home winemakers. National editorial awards included gold (columns) and silver (feature articles) at the 2001 Quill and Tankard awards sponsored by the North American Guild of Beer Writers; and gold, silver and bronze (feature articles) in 2002.
Editor at Large ● Mountain Sports & Living ● January 1997 to April 1999
Actively assisted in planning the editorial content for the national re-launch of 500,000-circulation outdoor sports, mountain resorts and lifestyle magazine. Edited adventure and travel stories and front-of-book departments; wrote travel and service articles.
Senior Editor ● Snow Country ● January 1994 to December 1996
Planned, assigned, edited and wrote travel features, service packages and departments for 500,000-circulation mountain sports, resorts and lifestyle magazine owned by The New York Times. Snow Country was purchased in January 1997 by Miller Sports Group and re-launched as Mountain Sports & Living.
Freelance Writer ● December 1992 to December 1993
Frequent contributor to Snow Country. Contributing editor to Wisconsin Trails, a state lifestyle magazine. Contributing editor to Madison, a city magazine. Contributing editor to Isthmus, an alternative newsweekly. Published articles included profiles, investigative and service reporting, and lifestyle, travel and adventure sports articles.
Editor ● Minnesota Calls ● Duluth, Minnesota ● January 1991 to November 1992
Editor of bimonthly magazine about life in Minnesota. Overhauled editorial content and directed a redesign. Planned, assigned and edited all copy. Wrote cover stories and departments. Approved layouts. Helped plan circulation strategies. Managed staff.
Reporter-Researcher ● TIME ● New York, New York ● November 1988 to May 1989
Worked with writers, correspondents and editors to research and fact-check articles for the Nation and World sections. Returned by request in 1990 to work on special women’s issue.
Staff Writer ● Roll Call ● Washington, DC ● October 1986 to October 1988
Reporter, staff writer and columnist for weekly newspaper covering the people and politics of Capitol Hill. The Roving Reporter, a weekly column, combined humor and news to report on all new hires, promotions and departures on Capitol Hill.
Northwestern University ● Evanston, Illinois
Master of Science in Journalism with Highest Honors: June 1990.
Concentration: magazine publishing.
Northwestern University ● Evanston, Illinois
Bachelor of Arts: June 1986. Major: political science.
COMMUNITY & VOLUNTEER
The Wilson House • 2021 to present
Board member, program committee co-chair, development committee member for nonprofit organization that manages the birthplace and childhood home of Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson.
Town of Manchester Democrats • 2016 to present
Chair and/or leadership team of various local political groups. Organized 110-person contingent to attend Women’s March on Washington (January 2017); planned training sessions to teach skills in cross-partisan dialogue, phone-banking and canvassing. Current position: Vice chair (2021).
Empty Bowls ● 2008 to 2012
Committee member for annual community event that raises money and awareness for selected hunger-related charities in southern Vermont. Organized Rock and Bowl, an annual benefit concert that raises money for the local food pantry.
Art on the Hill ● 2006 to 2010
PR and marketing volunteer for annual family art festival at Southern Vermont Arts Center.
Manchester School Fund ● 2000 to 2002
Vice-chair in charge of public relations for successful $2.3 million 2002 community campaign; wrote all marketing materials and solicitation letters; directed print, radio and cable-TV advertising campaign.
Friends Foundation for MEMS & Manchester Elementary-Middle School ● 2001 to 2008
Served on inaugural board of nonprofit that raised private donations for the public school. Helped plan start-up marketing and PR campaign. Also worked for MEMS in 2001 and 2002 to develop and execute a comprehensive PR campaign.