Dr. Ferki Ferati has been with The Jefferson Educational Society since its founding in 2008. Dr. Ferati began his work at the Jefferson serving first as the think tank's Director of Research and Operations but was quickly promoted to Executive Director in 2009 and then to Vice President in 2013. In February 2017, the Jefferson Board of Trustees unanimously confirmed his appointment to become the organization's President, and the presidential transition was finalized in June 2017.
During his tenure with the Jefferson, Dr. Ferati has supervised more than 800 programs, including the nationally recognized annual Global Summit speaker series. He also oversees various publications, such as the Jefferson Essays and the Journal of Erie Studies. For two years, he helped successfully guide the Nation’s largest War of 1812 Celebration for the Erie Area called the Perry 200 Commemoration, featuring 72 events totaling more than $2 million.
His work at the Jefferson has been featured globally in The Atlantic’s City Makers: American Futures Project, Brookings Metropolitan Programming reports, El Pais, and others.
In June 2017, Dr. Ferati successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, The Rise and Decline of the Chautauqua Movement: Lessons for 21st Century Civic Adult Education, in the Social and Comparative Analysis in Education at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. He presented his research at the Tom Tom Festival's Hometown Summit on the campus of the University of Virginia.
In 2012, Dr. Ferati received his Master's in Public Administration from Gannon University. He earned his bachelor degree from Mercyhurst University, majoring in Intelligence Studies and minoring in Russian Studies in 2007.
He is active in the Erie community. He has served on the board of the Perry 200 Commemoration, the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, and Destination Erie: A Regional Vision. Most recently, Dr. Ferati joined the board of Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program's Metropolitan Leadership Council and served as an Executive Producer for the "Our Erie" short film, which launched a national social media campaign.
Dr. Ferati is also a graduate of Leadership Erie (2010 and 2011) and the Jefferson Civic Leadership Academy (2016), and was a member of the Erie Reader's inaugural class of 40 Under 40.
Dr. Ferati lives in the City of Erie with his wife Katya. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, reading, and exploring the world of craft beer.