Media Moves

Virginia’s Foothills Forum names Oaks exec director

April 11, 2023

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

The following excerpt was sent out from

Emily Oaks

Veteran journalist Emily Oaks has been named the new executive director of Foothills Forum, the community-supported nonprofit that provides award-winning local news coverage of Rappahannock County.

Oaks has several decades of experience working for small and mid-size newspapers, most recently as editor of the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

She succeeds Andy McLeod, who has served as executive director for the past three years during which Foothills’ journalism and financial support grew dramatically. McLeod informed the Foothills board several months ago that he planned to step down when a successor could be found.

“I consider journalism a critical public service, and I am excited to invest my efforts in strengthening the Rappahannock community,” she said. “The vision of Foothills Forum and its outstanding board mirrors my own. I look forward to working with them.”

Oaks, a Utah native who studied journalism and English at Brigham Young University, began her career in the late 1980s as a reporter and editor for The Daily Herald in Provo. She subsequently served as a columnist and feature writer for a newspaper in suburban Chicago before moving to Virginia where she became an editor and staff reporter for The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg.

She then served as editor of the Culpeper Star-Exponent from 2018 until last year.

She begins her new job with Foothills Forum on April 15.

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