JAMES ACKERMAN, President and CEO Prison Fellowship
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, and the International Documentary Association. He serves as chairman of the board for 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 California. They have two adult children, Holden and Lily.