Jon Parrish Peede, who was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, will be the keynote speaker at the National Institute’s annual luncheon, which will be held on Tuesday, June 12, at the Cornell Club of New York.
Until his confirmation, Mr. Peede had been senior deputy chairman at the NEH and had served as the agency’s acting director since May 2017. His previous positions include publisher of the Virginia Quarterly Review at the University of Virginia, literature grants director at the National Endowment for the Arts, counselor to NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, director of the NEA Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience program, director of the NEA Big Read program, director of communications at Millsaps College, founding editor of Millsaps Magazine, and editor at Mercer University Press.
From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Peede oversaw the NEA’s funding of literary organizations and fellowships to creative writers and translators. For seven years, he led writing workshops for U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Bahrain, England, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, the Persian Gulf, and on domestic bases.
He has served on the national council of the Margaret Walker Center for the Study of the African-American Experience, Jackson State University; the advisory committee of Virginia Festival of the Book, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities; and the poet laureate selection committee, state of Mississippi, office of the governor.
In The New York Times, James Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, praised Mr. Peede’s “deep commitment to the humanities and the work of the N.E.H.”
Mr. Peede holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Vanderbilt University, and a master’s in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. He is the co-editor of Inside the Church of Flannery O’Connor: Sacrament, Sacramental, and the Sacred in Her Fiction (Mercer, 2007) and editor of a bilingual anthology of contemporary American fiction (Lo que cuenta el vecino: cuentos contemporáneos de los Estados Unidos [UNUM: Mexico City, 2008].)
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This story has been updated to reflect Chairman Peede's confirmation by the U.S. Senate.