Katie Hannah Appointed New Director of UT Press

Katie Hannah has been appointed the next director of the University of Tennessee Press. She will assume the position April 1.

Hannah brings more than 20 years of publishing industry experience to the role. As UT Press director, she will be responsible for developing and executing strategic, programmatic, and financial plans that ensure the continued success of the organization. She will report to Steve Smith, Bruce and Nancy Sullivan Dean of University Libraries and the University of Tennessee Press.

The UT Press is a division of the UT Libraries.

“Katie has deep experience in all aspects of publishing, including the academic commercial market as well as university press publishing,” Smith said. “Having worked at the UT Press early in her career, she has solid understanding of our Press and the university and a great vision for our future. She is known as a team player who leads from the front. Her background, expertise, and demeanor make her an ideal director and will take the Press to the next level of success.”

She will succeed Scot Danforth, who retires in March after serving thirty years in various capacities at the Press, including as its director since 2008.

“The University of Tennessee Press represents the rich history of the mind, body, and spirit of Tennessee, Appalachia, and the South,” Hannah said. “Having honed my skills at a multinational publishing company, I am thrilled to turn my attention to spreading UT Press’s southern gospel around the globe.”

Hannah is currently director of Custom Strategy at W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. There she leads a five-member team with an $8-million annual revenue that effectively competes with many larger commercial custom textbook publishers.

After teaching literature and technical writing at the University of Alabama, she began her publishing career in sales before working as a marketing manager for the UT Press. Since then, she has served in a variety of roles at Norton, where she founded and developed Norton’s custom textbook publishing program.

Hannah received a Master of Arts in English from Western Kentucky University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi.

“Her skills and wealth of experience will make her uniquely qualified to lead the Press as it faces future challenges and opportunities,” said Robbie Dircks, retired chief financial officer of the University of North Carolina Press and special advisor to the UT Press. “Her knowledge of Knoxville and the region is an invaluable asset to the Press.”

In addition to Dircks, the search committee included six other staff and faculty members from across the UT System.

Jack Farrell and Associates conducted the national search.