Institute Personnel

CHRIS KROMM - Executive Director; Publisher, Facing South and Southern Exposure
Chris joined the staff of the Institute and Southern Exposure in May 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 popular online publication.
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, NPR's "All Things Considered," Pacifica Radio, WUNC North Carolina's "The State of Things" and XM Satellite Radio. Kromm's writing and reporting have also appeared in The Durham Herald-Sun, The Hill, The Huffington Post, The Independent Weekly, The Nation, The Raleigh News & Observer, Salon and other publications.
Chris is the author or co-author of more than 30 in-depth 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 over 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, the 2003 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.
SUE STURGIS - Editorial Director
Sue joined the Institute in November 2005 as director of Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, a project to document and investigate the post-Katrina recovery. A former staff writer for The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina and Durham, North Carolina's Independent Weekly, Sue directs and writes for the Institute's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. She is the author or co-author of numerous Institute reports, including "Life After BP" (2011), "Faith in the Gulf" (2008), "Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement" (2008) and "Blueprint for Gulf Renewal" (2007). Her work has also appeared in other publications including The American Prospect, The Progressive, and Salon. Sue holds a master's degree in journalism from New York University and a bachelor's in social work from Penn State.
DANIELLE ADAMS - Office Coordinator
Danielle joined the Institute in spring 2013 as coordinator of the Institute's office and development systems. She is a classically trained violist, a string band enthusiast, and a rabid environmentalist. She holds a BA in political science with a minor in music from N.C. Central University in Durham, N.C., and she is serving in her second term on Durham's Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors.
ETHAN CLAUSET - Web Director
Ethan Clauset directs the Institute's website development and online publishing strategy. He is a former volunteer and board member of Internationalist Books in Chapel Hill, and co-founded the Internationalist Prison Books Collective, which sends free books to prisoners in Mississippi and Alabama. He provides internet advice and consulting for nonprofit organizations, including the Institute for Southern Studies, WXYC-FM and Daylight Magazine. Ethan is a graduate of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
ALEX KOTCH - Research Associate
A Chapel Hill, NC native, Alex began as a research associate with the Institute in January 2014, focusing on money in politics. He tracks outside money spent in North Carolina’s state-level elections, managing the content on, and writes articles for Facing South. Alex’s work has been published by The American Prospect,, The Brooklyn Rail and Vocativ. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from Brown University and a PhD in music composition from Duke, and is an active producer and DJ.
ALLIE YEE - Program and Development Associate
Allie joined the Institute in July 2014 and splits her time between researching demographic changes in the South and supporting the Institute’s development efforts. Before coming to the Institute, Allie was a Fellow at the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation where she assisted grantmaking to nonprofits in North Carolina across a range of issues and researched independent, nonprofit media. Allie graduated from Duke University in 2012 with a degree in Public Policy Studies.