Forrest Alton


Forrest has been involved in the nonprofit and social service sectors in a variety of capacities and settings for more than 15 years.  For 10 years, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, where his leadership and management resulted in the significant growth of an agency, which is now recognized as a national leader on issues related to adolescent health. The type of growth experienced by the organization doesn’t happen via random chance – especially on such a contentious issue being discussed in a conservative, southern state. It happens because of strong vision, strategic thinking, bold leadership (and certainly a little luck.) Forrest’s accomplishments in the sector combined with his dynamic, engaging personality and presentation style have resulted in him being frequently sought after as a speaker for conferences, trainings, and media opportunities.

After spending more than a decade in the C-suite of a highly successful nonprofit organization, Forrest stepped down to focus his energy on the launch of 1000 Feathers. He wanted to do his part to make the nonprofit, social sector, and philanthropic sectors stronger by training and developing leaders, helping organizations to think and act more strategically, posing the difficult questions, and encouraging conversations at all levels of organizations and throughout communities.

Recognized by The State newspaper as one of South Carolina’s “20-under-40 emerging leaders” and by the Free Times as one of the “50 Most Influential People in Columbia,” Forrest is a Riley Institute Leadership Fellow and a member of the Liberty Fellowship - part of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network. He is a respected voice and frequently requested speaker on issues related to young people, education, reproductive health, and nonprofit leadership and management. He has also led multiple grant writing teams through the process of securing more than $45 million in public and private grants since 2010.

Forrest currently serves on the boards of Power to Decide, Together SC, and My Carolina - the University of South Carolina’s Alumni Association. He earned his Master of Public Health from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, where he has been recognized with a Young Alumnus of the Year award (2011), and received his Bachelor of Science from Coastal Carolina University where he has also been named a Distinguished Alumnus (2009).

A published author, Forrest was a contributor to Douglas Kirby’s 2011 book, Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk: A theoretical Guide for Developing and Adapting Curriculum-Based Programs. Praised by many, one reviewer Ralph DiClemente, had this to say:

“Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk by Douglas Kirby and his colleagues is a tour de force for anyone interested in developing or adapting sexual health curricula. This book represents the cumulative experience, expertise, and practice of some of the leading sexual health researchers and practitioners in the United States. As might be expected from such a stellar and talented team, the book is a well-researched and clearly articulated work of scholarship. It is a ‘must have’ on any bookshelf; indispensable for researchers, practitioners, and students.”