John E. Rochester Appointed 2013 AHF Board Chair

On January 1, 2013, John E. Rochester of Ashland, Alabama began his term as Chairman of the Board of the Alabama Humanities Foundation succeeding Jim Noles. Judge Rochester recently retired as the Presiding Circuit Judge for Alabama’s 40th Judicial Circuit and served as Executive Director on an interim basis during 2012.

For many years Judge Rochester has demonstrated an affinity for the humanities.  “Judge Rochester is the perfect model of what a Board Chairman of a non-profit should be,” said Armand DeKeyser, Executive Director of AHF.  In addition to his humanities duties, he is active in his home town, has led the restoration of the Clay County Courthouse and is known for making the humanities a part of his alternative sentencing program.

Judge Rochester’s background has made him a sought after speaker, having spoken for AHF, the Alabama Press Association, the Alabama Circuit Judge’s Association and seminars at the Harvard and Yale law schools. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Southeastern Council of Foundations.

Judge Rochester received a bachelor’s degree from Auburn, a J.D. from Samford University and a Master of Laws from the New York University School of Law. He is the former Chair of the State Health Coordinating Council and the Clay County Healthcare Authority.

Among his current activities, Judge Rochester serves as:

  • Trustee, Southeastern Council of Foundations
  • Board of Directors, Voices of Alabama’s Children
  • President, Martha Christian White Foundation
  • President, Justice Hugo L. Black Memorial


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