Johanna Bringhurst

Director of Programs

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

Director of Advancement

Jessica Evett joined the Idaho Humanities Council 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 dogs of vastly differing size.

Recommended Book Title: The Wager by David Grann or The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Recommended Movie/TV Title: Station Eleven (HBO); Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders)


Doug Exton

Grants manager

Doug Exton joined the Idaho Humanities Council in 2020 after graduating with his B.A. in History with minors in Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) & Urban Studies/Community Development. Doug is currently attending Johns Hopkins University for a M.S. in GIS. Hailing from Northern Virginia, Doug fell in love with the open spaces and accessible outdoors in Idaho. Being a resident of Idaho since 2016, he currently resides in Eagle.

Recommended Book Title: Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart or Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros

Recommended Movie/TV Title: Barbie or 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 served on the board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils from 2019-2023. He resides in Boise with his husband, Geoffrey Parks, and two miniature schnauzers, Haskell and Fiyero.

Recommended TV Titles:  Reservation Dogs (Hulu); Fargo (FX); Reply 1988 (Netflix); Daily Dose of Sunshine (Netflix)


Debra Schlechte

Grants Administrator

Debra Schlechte joined 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 and one grandson. 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