Jennie Stephens, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Center for Heirs' Property Preservation

Charleston, SC

Accelerate Collaboration, Co-Create Policy, Cultivate Connection, Prioritize Equity, Regenerate Soil & Nature  |  Community Economic Development, Environmental Sustainability, Rural Community Development, Technical Assistance

Jennie leads community and economic development in the Black Belt by protecting heirs’ property and promoting its sustainable use to provide increased economic benefit to family owners through education and legal services.

Jennie L. Stephens has served as executive director of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation since its inception in 2005. She has worked more than 25 years in the nonprofit field in such positions as fiscal director at a community action agency, sponsored programs director at a historically black college, and senior program director at Coastal Community Foundation. Jennie currently serves on the board of SC Community Loan Fund in the capacity of Governance Committee chairperson. Most recently, she had the pleasure of being a speaker at TedXCharleston with a talk titled, “Heirs Discover Money Does Grow on Trees“. Jennie received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the College of Charleston, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Charleston/University of SC and earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. She is a native of Walterboro, SC.