The president and founder of Houstory, Mr. Hiestand (pronounced: HEE-STUND) grew up all over the country as an Air Force "military brat" and is a graduate of Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska, Marquette University's College of Journalism (with a minor in History) and Cornell Law School.
In addition to his work with Houstory, Mr. Hiestand is the owner and founder of Zenger Consulting. Between 1991-2003, he was the staff attorney for the nonprofit Student Press Law Center, located just outside Washington, D.C., and worked full-time as the Center’s sole consulting attorney until 2012. Over the years, Mr. Hiestand has provided legal assistance to about 15,000 high school and college student journalists and their advisers. Working with Zenger, he continues to work with the SPLC on special projects affecting the student press community.
He has written and lectured extensively on legal issues affecting the student media and is the primary author of the third edition of the Student Press Law Center's book, Law of the Student Press, (2008), now in its third printing. A recognized expert in the field, he has spoken to student, journalism and education groups across the country and abroad and has appeared on various radio and television shows, including C-SPAN, Voice of America and National Public Radio and his comments have appeared in such national publications as The New York Times, USA Today, US News and World Report and The Wall Street Journal. He is a member of the bars of Washington State and the United States Supreme Court.
In 2009, the National Scholastic Press Association named Mr. Hiestand a recipient of its Pioneer Award, the organization’s highest honor for journalism educators. In 2011, College Media Advisers named him the recipient of the organization’s Louis E. Ingelhart First Amendment Award for “extraordinary, long-term contributions in support of the First Amendment.” And in 2012, the Society for Professional Journalists named named him the recipient of the prestigious SPJ First Amendment Award "for extraordinary efforts to preserve and strengthen the First Amendment."
He currently lives with his wife, two daughters, two dogs and a horse in the very northwest corner of Washington State.