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Extension Foundation Selects Ashley Griffin as New Chief Operating Officer


Ashley Griffin, Chief Operating Officer, Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer Search Committee, led by Dr. Scott Reed, advertised an application for a new Chief Operating Officer beginning in November, 2023. As a result of this search, the Extension Foundation has selected Ashley Griffin as its new Chief Operating Officer effective January 1st, 2024. Griffin has served as the Interim Chief Operating Officer for the past 12 months.

Griffin’s career with Cooperative Extension began in 1996 at the University of Kentucky as an Extension Associate for Equine Youth Activities. From 2002-2005, Griffin served as a Communications Specialist for the University of Kentucky, Agricultural Communications Services, Creative Applications for Learning Environments Lab (CALE). In 2005, Griffin became the Content Design Leader for what was then called the National eXtension Initiative. This included leading the start-up, planning, and maintenance of national Communities of Practice “best-of-the-best” content in their subject areas and training communities on using and managing eXtension’s legacy tools and systems. In 2011, Griffin became a Community Engagement Consultant for the eXtension Foundation serving as the primary contact for over 5,500 university faculty and Extension educators participating in over 100 Communities of Practice and Learning Networks from 75 Land-grant universities in the United States.

Griffin then served as the Extension Foundation’s Program Manager from 2017-2022. Her leadership in this role included leading the Extension Foundation’s evaluation and reporting efforts, developing toolkits and playbooks for clients and partners engaged in Extension Foundation programs, and playing a leading role in the Extension Foundation’s Impact Collaborative program managing a network of 107 trained Innovation Facilitators and delivering professional development events for 211 local and national project teams for over 3000 Extension professionals.

During her 12 months in the Interim Chief Operating Officer role, Griffin oversaw the day-to-day operations of the Extension Foundation, coordinating efforts across various Team Leaders and staff/contractors that support the Foundation’s grants and national programs. Additionally, she played a key role in strengthening the Extension Foundation’s Human Resource services and support for staff while developing operational processes to scale the staff and contractor pool for new grant awards. Additionally, she continued to lead the Extension Foundation’s Publications team to guide the direction and delivery of sharing impactful works with over 50 publications and reports published to date.

As the Chief Operating Operation Officer, Griffin will be responsible for the daily operations of the Extension Foundation to include talent acquisition and onboarding, personnel, grant development and administration, supporting the development and implementation of a strategic plan, and overall leadership for the internal operations of the Extension Foundation.

According to Griffin, “I’ve had the good fortune to be part of this wonderful organization for nearly two decades, which started as a grant-funded initiative known as the National eXtension Initiative back in 2005, and has grown into the operating Foundation that it is today. I’m excited about the future of this organization and what its dedicated team of professionals can do for the Cooperative Extension System, and I look forward to continuing to deliver on our commitment to our partners across the system to help make a greater impact at the local level.”

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