Johanna Bringhurst

Program Officer

Johanna Bringhurst joined the Idaho Humanities Council in October 2021.  Johanna has a BS in Political Science from Utah State University. Previously, she was the State Coordinator for National History Day in Idaho where she helped to teach, prepare and inspire Idaho students for college, career, and citizenship. Johanna resides in Boise with her charming husband, three joyfully energetic sons, and a poodle named Maple. 
Recommended Books: Everything by Amor Towles and Helen Simonson
Recommended TV/Film: The Great British Baking Show and The West Wing
Jess Evett

Jessica Evett

Development & Communications Officer

Jessica Evett joined the Idaho Humanities Council as Development and Communications Officer in September 2021. Previously, she spent six years serving as General Manager of Radio Boise (KRBX 89.9/93.5FM), a nonprofit community radio station serving the Treasure Valley and parts of Eastern Oregon. Prior to that, Evett spent 16 years in Montana and Colorado (1999-2015), with a career spanning natural resource work, communications, fundraising, and management at several outdoor stewardship organizations. Born and raised in Boise, she holds a B.A. degree in Psychology and Creative Writing from the College of Idaho, and an M.A. degree in Mass Communications/Public Relations from the University of Denver. She currently resides in Boise with her husband, son, and two heelers of vastly differing size.

Recommended Book Title: Goodbye, Sweet Girl by Kelly Sundberg or The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Recommended Movie/TV Title: The Leftovers (HBO); Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders)


Doug Exton

Grants manager

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.


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:  The White Lotus (HBOMAX); Hacks (HBOMAX)


Debra Schlechte

Office Manager

Debra Schlechte became the Office Manager 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 two granddaughters. She currently resides in Meridian with her husband Shain, and her three dogs, Minnie Moo, Little Pea, and Lucy Loo.

Recommended Book Title:  Currently reading anything by Sarah J. Maas and Jennifer Armentrout.

Recommended Movie/TV Title:  Jungle Cruise

Cindy 2019

Cindy Wang

Director of Operations

Cindy Wang is the Director of Operations for the Idaho Humanities Council.  Wang’s career with state humanities councils spans over 30 years, first in Kansas and then in Idaho.  In between years with humanities councils, she worked in curriculum and testing with the West Ada School District.  Wang appreciates her affiliation with an organization that shares her value of education and life-long learning and affords opportunities to offer her own enthusiasm and unique skillset to benefit others.   Wang holds a B.A. in Humanities with a major in English from Brigham Young University.  She has three grown children and three grandchildren.  She works remotely and lives near the ocean in Florence, Oregon with her husband, Mark.

Recommended Book Title:  Little Women. Author Louisa May Alcott

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