Doug Exton

program officer

Doug Exton joined the Idaho Humanities Council in January of 2020 as an intern. Now, after graduating with his Bachelor’s in History with minors in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) & Urban Studies/Community Development, he has joined as a Program Officer. Doug is currently attending Johns Hopkins University for a Master’s in GIS while also serving as a Commissioner for Ada County Planning and Zoning and loves all things to do with urban planning. Hailing from the Northern Virignia, Doug fell in love with the open spaces and accessible outdoors in Idaho. Being a resident of Idaho for five years, he currently resides in Eagle with his partner, Logan. 

Recommended Book Title: Circe by Madeline Miller or Maphead by Ken Jennings.

Recommended Movie/TV Title: Mean Girls, and Bridgerton.


Jennifer Holley

Director of Programs & Development

Jennifer Holley joined the IHC staff in 2001 as a temp and now serves as Director of Programs and Development. She is a lifelong resident of Boise (BOY-SEE) and loves every crack and crevice of the state of Idaho. She has served on the Community Advisory Board for Boise State Public Radio, brainstormed history programs for the History Committee for the Boise Arts and History Department, and served in various capacities for the Junior League of Boise. Jennifer holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from Boise State University. She has received her certification in human rights from the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights in Boise. She is a lifetime fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.

“Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too." Yogi Berra

Recommended Book Title:  The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power

Recommended Movie/TV Title: The Best Years of Our Lives – 1946 World War II Film Classic

Poet Richard Blanco speaks at the Idaho Humanities Council's 23nd Annual Distinguished Humanities Lecture on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.

David Pettyjohn

Executive Director

David Pettyjohn became the Executive Director of the Idaho Humanities Council in January 2018. Prior to that, he served as Executive Director of Preservation Oklahoma, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting, supporting, and coordinating historic preservation activities in the state. Prior to joining Preservation Oklahoma, he served 11 years (2001-2012) as Program Officer and later as Assistant Director for the Oklahoma Humanities Council. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in History from the University of Tulsa.  He currently serves on the board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils. He resides in Boise with his husband, Geoffrey Parks, and two miniature schnauzers, Haskell and Fiyero.

Recommended Book Title:  Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, Author David Treuer

Recommended Movie/TV Title:  Lovecraft Country (HBO); The Queen's Gambit (Netflix)


Debra Schlechte

Office Manager & Speakers Bureau Coordinator

Debra Schlechte became the Office Manager and Speakers Bureau Coordinator at the Idaho Humanities Council in September 2011. Previously, Schlechte worked as a Technical Writer at Micon Technology in Boise, and an Office Manager at Motive Power, Inc. She holds an Associate’s degree in Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene from Carrington College in Boise. She was born and raised in the Boise area, but grew up part time in Nebraska. She previously lived in Florida for seven years, and then moved to Utah, where she worked for a contractor on Hill AFB as a Technical Writer. After living in Utah for nine years (1995-2004), Schlechte moved back to the Boise area. She has three grown children, two boys and one girl, and one granddaughter. She currently resides in Meridian with her husband Shain, and her three dogs, Baby Giz, Little Pea, and Minnie Moo.

Recommended Book Title:  If You Tell, Author Greg Olsen (True Crime)

Recommended Movie/TV Title:  Little Women, and Jumanji

Cindy 2019

Cindy Wang

Director of Operations

Cindy Wang is the Director of Operations for the Idaho Humanities Council, and has worked for the state humanities councils for over 30 years.  She previously worked for Humanities Kansas as the Grants Manager and Budget Director. During a short hiatus from the Idaho Humanities Council, she worked in the Curriculum and Testing Department at the West Ada School District. Wang holds a B.A. in Humanities with a major in English from Brigham Young University. She has three grown children, three grandchildren, and lives in Eagle with her husband, Mark, and their miniature schnauzer, Zoe.

Recommended Book Title:  Little Women. Author Louisa May Alcott

Recommended Movie/TV Title:  Little Women, and Knives Out