Defend democracy in the South.

Chris Kromm

Executive Director and Publisher

Chris joined the staff of the Institute in 1997. From 1997 to 2000, he was the editor of Southern Exposure magazine, the Institute's award-winning journal of politics and culture. He was appointed executive director in 2000. He is also publisher of Facing South, the Institute's online magazine.

A frequently-sought commentator on Southern politics and current issues, Chris has appeared on over 300 TV and radio broadcasts including American Public Media's "Marketplace," CNN "Live," C-SPAN, Democracy Now, KCRW California's "To the Point," Mississippi Public Radio, MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," NPR's "All Things Considered," Pacifica Radio, WUNC North Carolina's "The State of Things" and XM Satellite Radio. Kromm's writing has appeared in The Herald-Sun, The Hill, The Huffington Post, The Independent Weekly, The Nation, The News & Observer, Salon and other publications.

Chris is the author or co-author of more than 60 Institute reports on topics ranging from the changing demographic and political landscape in the South to money in politics, labor, voting rights and disaster recovery in the Gulf Coast. Kromm's reports have been covered in more than 350 media outlets, including ABC News, Associated Press, BBC World, Bloomberg News, CNN News, NPR, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Reuters, The Washington Post and USA Today.

Under Chris' leadership, the Institute and its media programs have been recognized with several prestigious honors and awards, including the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting, a North Carolina Justice Center Defenders of Justice Award for Policy Research and Advocacy, a Harry Chapin Media Award for coverage of poverty issues, an Investigative Reporting award from the North Carolina Press Association, and honors from the National Press Club, Society of Professional Journalists, and the White House Correspondents' Association.

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Articles by Chris

Institute welcomes Maydha Devarajan as 2023 Julian Bond Fellow

January 13, 2023 - Formerly a reporter for the Chatham News + Record and editor of UNC's The Daily Tar Heel, Devarajan is the latest recipient of a fellowship created to support a new generation of social change journalists. The program honors Julian Bond, the civil rights veteran and journalist who cofounded the Institute for Southern Studies, the nonprofit publisher of Facing South.

UPDATE: Deadline extended for the 2022 Julian Bond Fellowship

August 23, 2021 - The fellowship offered by the Institute for Southern Studies, now entering its third year, aims to promote new voices in Southern media and support public interest journalists and researchers in the South. Given the coronavirus epidemic, the Institute will consider applications from prospective fellows who seek to conduct their fellowship remotely or while based at the Institute's offices in Durham, North Carolina.