Betty Knighton

National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI)

Betty Knighton is president of the National Issues Forums Institute and a senior associate of the Kettering Foundation. Since her connection with NIF and Kettering began in the early 1990s, she has been keenly interested in exploring practices that support public deliberation in communities, on campuses, and in classrooms.


Betty’s work has focused on effective practices for incorporating deliberative discussions of public issues into the ongoing work of communities and for building connections between colleges and universities and the civic life of the communities in which they are located.


For two decades, Betty served as the Director of the West Virginia Center for Civic Life, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes civic engagement throughout West Virginia.  In her home state and throughout the country, a primary component of her work has been the development of a collaborative network of educational, civic, faith-based, and governmental organizations interested in working with the public to address important issues in democratic ways.