Pisgah Legal Services Appoints Jaclyn Kiger as New Executive Director 

Attorney and Former COO to Lead Organization 

Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) announces the selection of Jaclyn “Jackie” Kiger as its new Executive Director, following an extensive search process. Kiger will replace Jim Barrett, who is retiring after 41 years of serving the nonprofit which assists more than 23,000 people in Western North Carolina (WNC) each year. 

John Noor, President of the PLS Board of Directors, states, “We are thrilled to welcome Jackie as our new Executive Director. She brings experience, passion and commitment to the work of Pisgah Legal Services.”

He continues, “We are very fortunate to benefit from the leadership she has already exemplified as Pisgah Legal’s Chief Operations Officer, her strong working relationship with the staff, her well-established local connections, and her years of experience as a dedicated and compassionate attorney representing people in need.” 

“As Executive Director, I offer my full enthusiasm, zealous advocacy and genuine dedication to championing Pisgah Legal Services so that we may continue to increase access to justice and improve the lives of thousands of local people in our region each year,” says Kiger. “I have worked closely with Jim Barrett for years and have a unique understanding of the way Pisgah Legal operates, thus allowing me to step seamlessly into this role and support the stability of the organization for our staff and our clients.” 

Kiger joined PLS in 2010 as a public benefits and housing attorney and in 2013 helped implement the organization’s Affordable Care Act Health Justice Enrollment Program. In 2014 she was promoted to Managing Attorney to oversee PLS’ health justice, public benefits and immigration work. Kiger obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Duquesne University. She earned a Master of Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill and received her Juris Doctorate from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Kiger has served as Chief Operations Officer at Pisgah Legal Services since 2019. 

  • Get to Know Jackie: In this video, she is educating WLOS viewers about PLS.

Established in 1978, Pisgah Legal has grown to a staff of 130 to serve more than 23,000 people in WNC last year. The staff includes 35 attorneys whose poverty law efforts are combined with free legal assistance from 250 active volunteer attorneys.  

Thanks to generous community support, the organization has expanded to include 16 different programs and an array of social services to work with its clients to help them stop abuse, stabilize housing, escape poverty, or in many cases, to cope with living on fixed incomes due to age or disabilities. Staff members include social workers, health insurance navigators, tax credit advocates, and Medicaid Ombudsmen. Nearly 100 non-attorney volunteers help the organization achieve its mission.  

Kiger’s first day serving as PLS’ Executive Director will be August 3, 2024.