John F. Kutsko
John F. Kutsko is the Executive Director at Atla. Heading up the association’s staff leadership team, he oversees all aspects of the association, including Atla’s scholarly research tools, and programs and services for members. He works directly with the Board of Directors, ensuring compliance with all federal and state nonprofit laws. He conducts fundraising activities and works with Atla’s collaborators and business partners, ensuring that Atla remains financially sustainable. John received a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University and an MA from the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. He served from 2010 through 2022 as Executive Director of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), the oldest and largest learned society that fosters the critical study of the Bible from a variety of academic disciplines. There he led the consultation that formed the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA)-the first learned society for scholars of the Qur’an-oversaw the launch of Bible Odyssey, developed the concept for and launched SBL Central, and directed the updated edition of the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). While at SBL, he served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Council of Executive Officers at the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and on the advisory boards of the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute and the Georgia 3Rs Project (Rights, Responsibility, Respect). Prior to SBL, John was an associate publisher at Abingdon Press/United Methodist Publishing House and has worked in academic publishing for more than two decades. In 2008, the Fund for Theological Education (now the Forum for Theological Exploration) recognized him for his “commitment to the mission of FTE and to the cause of excellence and diversity in ministry and teaching.” John is contributing editor of The SBL Handbook of Style (1999), director of the revised edition of the Handbook (2014), author of Between Heaven and Earth: Divine Presence and Absence in the Book of Ezekiel (2000), and co-editor of The King James Version at 400 (2013). Among the articles he has written are “Compromise as a Biblical Value” in The Bible in Political Debate (2016) and “The Curious Case of the Christian Bible and the U.S. Constitution: Challenges for Educators Teaching the Bible in a Multi-Religious Context” in The Bible in American Life (2017).