Louisa McCune is the executive director of Kirkpatrick Foundation. She is on the Animal Grantmakers board of directors, serving as 2020 president. For 2021, she will serve as chairman of the 2021 Philanthropy Southwest annual conference, to be held in Oklahoma City. She is an advisory trustee to the Kirkpatrick Family Fund and Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center and an adviser to Green Box. In 2020, she co-founded the Oklahoma Killer Whale Project and also served as executive producer of The Odyssey Project (a livestream complete reading of Emily Wilson’s translation) with Oklahoma Contemporary. McCune is editor in chief and co-founder of ArtDesk, a member and co-founder of Common Bonds, and a member and co-founder of the Oklahoma Roundtable for Animal Welfare. She also serves on the board of the Kirkpatrick Policy Group, as its treasurer.
McCune is a past member of the American Society of Magazine Editors and has served on the boards of City Arts Center, the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Wilson Arts. She is a former committee member for the Thatcher Hoffman Smith prize and past judge for the National Magazine Awards and the Oklahoma Book Awards (the book she co-edited with Teresa Miller, Love Can Be, won an Oklahoma Book Award in 2018). She is a current member of Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, Club 29.
From 1997 to 2011, she served as editor in chief of Oklahoma Today. Under her guidance, the magazine won more than 250 national and state awards, including three SPJ Best Magazine awards and two Magazine of the Year awards from the International Regional Magazine Association.
Before returning to Oklahoma, McCune was a contributing editor for The American Benefactor and also worked at Worth, George, Harper’s Magazine, Mirabella, and New York. In 1996, she was assistant editor on Fools for Scandal by Gene Lyons, published by Harper’s and a former contributing editor to Green: The Magazine for Personal Finance. Her articles have appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, Reader’s Digest, Worth, the Oklahoman, OKC Business, Journal Record, OKC Pets Magazine, World Literature Today, and Zoo Sounds. Her essay, “Family Plots,” appeared in Voices from the Heartland.
In 2003, McCune received the Bill Thurman Memorial Media in the Arts Award at the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award. In 1999, she was named one of “Thirty Under 30” by the Magazine Publishers of America and Folio; in 2002, one of “Forty Under 40” Oklahoma City leaders by OKC Business; and in 2007, an Achiever Under 40 by the Journal Record. In 2013, she received the Pride of the Plainsmen award from Enid High School, and in 2014, she received the Community Service Award from the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest.
An Enid, Oklahoma, native, McCune graduated with a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University in 1992. After college, she worked for Evergreen Helicopters in West Africa on a project to eradicate river blindness and then at the Enid News & Eagle as a general assignment feature writer. She received her pilot’s license in 1993. In 2005, McCune founded the Sallie McFarland Rucks Reader Series at Wilson Elementary in Oklahoma City. Louisa has three sons, McCune, Rucks, and Edward, and a lot of dogs and cats.