James G. Blaine is a writer, teacher and consultant whose wanderings have taken him from teaching severely autistic adolescents to writing intimate portraits of urban communities, from running a group of community newspapers to running for Congress, from designing courses and programs for educational institutions to trying to manage a cattle ranch in the Colombian llanos. He currently writes “Perspectives,” a regular blog, consults on environmental justice programs with the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, and works with non-profits on writing, planning and program-development projects.
A former journalist, he was executive director of the Pennsylvania Center for Investigative Journalism. Earlier he founded and published The Kennett Paper, which was named Pennsylvania’s weekly Newspaper of the Year in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and he subsequently published eight weeklies in Pennsylvania. He was also editor of passopenrecords.org, a blog for which he received the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association’s Benjamin Franklin Award for Excellence.
In addition, he has worked for many years with the Stroud Water Research Center, a non-profit dedicated to research and education on fresh water, in such positions as director of education, research associate, writer-in-residence and strategic planner. He developed a number of programs, including Mountaintop-to-Tap (a full-immersion student trek across the 120 miles of New York City’s water-supply system); Leaf Pack Ambassadors (a workshop for Latin American teachers, conservation workers and government officials); and Sustainable Feast, a local farm-to-table event.
The recipient of two Ford Foundation grants, he is U.S. Army veteran and holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a master’s and doctorate from the University of Michigan.