We are pleased to announce that Lisa Nelson-Haynes has been named StoryCorps’ Chief Programs Officer (CPO), effective immediately. In her new role as a member of the StoryCorps executive team, having served as interim CPO since February 2023,  Lisa will oversee the development, implementation, and scaling of the organization’s existing interview-collection programs, including One Small Step, the Military Voices Initiative, the StoryCorps Mobile Tour, and the newly reimagined education outreach programs, and collaborating with all areas of the organization to maximize StoryCorps’ public service.  She will also oversee the Learning & Engagement, Recording & Archive, and Research & Evaluation departments.

“Since she joined StoryCorps last year, Lisa has simply been a force. Her passionate and collaborative spirit, keen understanding of the power of personal narrative, and commitment to inclusive, sustained community partnership make her the ideal leader for StoryCorps’ dynamic and multifaceted programs,” said StoryCorps CEO Sandra Clark. “During this momentous anniversary year, we not only celebrate our accomplishments but look forward to a bright future. Driven by the belief that everyone’s story matters, Lisa will broaden the reach and impact of our programs in the years ahead.”

“Like so many people, I’ve been a fan of StoryCorps since they first started sharing their stories on NPR’s Morning Edition,” said Lisa. “I’m proud to be a part of an organization that is both intentional about and responsive to our country’s need to move beyond the constant din of social media platforms and reconnect through the sharing of our humanity with our stories. Over the coming years, I look forward to helping lead the expansion of StoryCorps’ work in innovative and strategic ways, building upon our loyal public media audience.”  

Lisa joined StoryCorps in October 2022 as Managing Director of Program & Innovation, quickly becoming a vital member of the organization’s staff. She has been instrumental in shaping the design and securing funding for major new initiatives launching in the coming year, and has worked to develop other important partnerships for StoryCorps. She has also created and facilitated racial and identity literacy workshops to provide additional professional development support to StoryCorps’ National and One Small Step facilitators. 

Prior to joining StoryCorps, Lisa was Executive Director of Philadelphia Young Playwrights (PYP), where she oversaw the vision, operations, and fundraising for the organization. During her tenure at PYP, she was the co-creator and executive producer of the organization’s award-winning podcast Mouthful, exploring the experiences and perspectives of young people to spark important and timely conversations about big ideas and issues.

Lisa’s work has long centered around encouraging others to exercise self-agency through shaping and sharing their own narratives. An award-winning storyteller, she has facilitated digital storytelling workshops for more than 20 years, and has created and facilitated digital storytelling initiatives for Pennsylvania’s Humanities Council, the Barra Foundation, and Drexel University’s Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice. Her visioning for StoryCorps of programming that offers deeper community engagement, while being timely, accessible and relevant, is grounded in her vast professional experiences, including as a racial literacy facilitator for Lion’s Story.