Ashley Pettus

Ashley Pettus

Board Member

Ashley is a freelance writer, philanthropist, and passionate advocate for criminal justice reform.  She joined LSJA’s board while living in Houston from 2017-2020.  During that time, she served as a court-appointed advocate on the criminal side of the Harris County 315th Juvenile court, working primarily with gang involved boys.  She also served as Chair of the Joint Committee for Juvenile Justice and Education for Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton’s Transition Team.

Now back in the Boston-area, she has been helping incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men tell their stories through her work with a number of nonprofits, including the Transformational Prison Project and the Massachusetts Parole Preparation Partnership.  She continues to look for ways to support innovative organizations across the country focused on ending mass incarceration and strengthening communities affected by poverty, violence, over policing, and underinvestment.

Prior to her work in criminal justice, she founded and directed the Global HearthWorks Foundation, a US-based 501c3, that invests in renewable energy enterprises and other climate solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa.  She was a long-time features writer for Harvard Magazine and worked as a science writer for the Clean Air Task Force.  She earned a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from UC Berkeley and an AB in Social Studies from Harvard College.

She currently lives in Belmont, MA.