JAMES J. ACKERMAN
President and Chief Executive Officer
James Ackerman formally joined Prison Fellowship in 2016 as President and CEO.
Ackerman has more than 20 years of experience as a highly effective executive, helping media companies like Documentary Channel, British Interactive Broadcasting, Broadway Systems, and Open TV navigate periods of transition and growth. In 2005 he founded Spinnaker Media to develop innovative entertainment and digital media companies. He also previously held roles at British Sky Broadcasting, A&E Television Networks, Hearst Entertainment, International Family Entertainment, and Grey Entertainment & Media.
He has served on the boards of several companies and nonprofit organizations, including Saving Innocence, which provides social services to underage girls rescued from sex trafficking, the International Documentary Association, and Stockholm-based Accedo, a global pioneer in video applications.
Prior to joining Prison Fellowship, Ackerman's volunteer service in prison includes as a counselor to a man on death row in California's San Quentin State Prison and as a pre-release instructor in Tennessee's Riverbend Maximum Security Prison. Ackerman has spent the last dozen years volunteering with Prison Fellowship, leveraging his business experience to teach prisoners important life skills, such as resume writing, job interviewing, household budgeting and personal planning. He also spent 10 years mentoring prisoners and former prisoners, including a man who, though convicted of murder, went on to start a successful business of his own following his release from prison. Ackerman maintains a close friendship with him today.
Ackerman is also a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. He and his wife Martha reside in South Carolina. They have two adult children, Holden and Lily.
Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Heather Rice-Minus leads Prison Fellowship® teams that advocate on criminal justice issues, build and deepen partnerships with churches, strengthen relationships between incarcerated parents and their children, and foster partnerships with individual donors, corporations, and foundations invested in Prison Fellowship’s vision and mission. She also co-authored Outrageous Justice®, the ministry’s small-group curriculum.
Previously, Rice-Minus managed prison reform advocacy efforts at the National Religious Campaign Against Torture and taught English at the University of Djibouti. She is a sought-after public speaker on the intersection of faith, justice, and incarceration, addressing audiences at national conferences and events including Wilberforce Weekend, Q Ideas Conference, and more. She has contributed to Christianity Today, Slate, CBN News, The Marshall Project, PBS' Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, and many other media outlets.
Rice-Minus is a graduate of Colorado State University and George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar, a member of AEI’s Leadership Network, and a Colson Fellow. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two daughters.
Director of Communications
Jim Forbes is the Director of Communications for Prison Fellowship, working closely with local, regional, and national media representatives and organizations in promoting the ministry. Prior to his work with Prison Fellowship, Jim served as director of communications for two representatives on the House side of Congress in Washington, D.C. During that time, he also worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). For almost three decades prior to that, Jim’s career was in the television news industry. Jim has been married to his wife, Leisa, for the past 25 years and they reside in Bowie, Maryland.