Business & Economy

VTDigger hires Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup as Chief Operating Officer 

Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup

TDigger has hired Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup as chief operating officer. He will join the staff of the nonprofit media organization on May 8.

Kaufman Ilstrup will lead VTDigger’s growing business team. As COO, he will be in charge of operations, fundraising, marketing and events.

“I am deeply honored to be joining the leadership team at VTDigger,” Kaufman Ilstrup said.  “I’m looking forward to working with Anne Galloway and her team to increase the on-the-ground visibility of VTDigger around the state and build our network of Vermonters who are committed to fact-based journalism.  In these times, the work of VTDigger is more important than ever as we demonstrate the impact of a free media in building, supporting and maintaining democratic institutions in Vermont and around the country.”

For the past decade, Kaufman Ilstrup has been a senior philanthropic adviser at the Vermont Community Foundation where he launched the “Innovations and Collaborations” grant program, built the Northeast Kingdom Fund from scratch and rejuvenated the Samara Fund for LGBTQ issues, tripling grant making over a four-year period. In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, Kaufman Ilstrup spearheaded an initiative that replaced mobile homes destroyed by the flood and helped to coordinate a campaign that raised $4.2 million for Vermont’s recovery.

Anne Galloway, editor of VTDigger and executive director of the Vermont Journalism Trust, made the announcement on Monday.

“Christopher is a seasoned leader in the nonprofit world,” Galloway said. “He shares our commitment to integrity and innovation, and we look forward to his contribution to the collegial synergy that makes VTDigger a dynamic place to work.”

Prior to his work at the Vermont Community Foundation, Kaufman Ilstrup was the founding executive director of RU12?, now the Pride Center of Vermont, a community center dedicated to the health and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Vermonters. In the late 1990s, he worked as a program director for Rural Vermont where he established the Farms to Families Initiative in the Northeast Kingdom.

Kaufman Ilstrup holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio. He grew up in Vergennes and now lives with his family in Montpelier.

About VTDigger

VTDigger is a nonprofit with 17 employees, 1 million pageviews per month and an annual budget of $1.3 million. Our revenues come from readers, business underwriters, foundation gifts and a news syndication service.

We publish daily stories about Vermont politics, business, criminal justice, education, the environment and other matters of public interest.

VTDigger was founded in 2009 and merged with the Vermont Journalism Trust. In 2011, the Trust became a 501(c)(3) educational charity.

The mission of the Vermont Journalism Trust and VTDigger is to produce rigorous journalism that explains complex issues, holds the government accountable to the public, and engages Vermonters in the democratic process.

CORRECTION: Christopher was the founding executive director of RU12?, not the founder as originally stated in this article.

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  • Lisa Winkler

    Congratulations, VT Digger. Well done. Christopher is a creative and inclusive person with a wealth of knowledge about — and commitment to — Vermont and her people. Congrats to all.

  • chris wilmot

    I am sure a militant left wing liberal will run vtdigger with a bi partisan mindset of truthful reporting…

    • Dominic Cotignola

      There are plenty of other organizations to get your news from. This is only one of many sources. If you disagree with it, find a news source that you do agree to.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Great addition. Congrats, Christopher!

  • Joseph Gainza

    A real coup for VT Digger. Christopher is not only a gifted organizer but someone with a broad vision who builds lasting relationships. Congratulations.

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    It seems certain people can be as insulting as they want and still see
    their comments posted, while others have their posts rejected for the
    tiniest amount of personal poking.

    The perfect example is that I can’t even give my example because a very simple, non-personally directed three word comment devoid of attacks and profanity can’t make it through whomever is doing your screening.