Malania Birney is a lifelong Appalachian, born and raised in Harrison County. Growing up in rural Ohio exposed her to the unique issues facing our region, which piqued her interests in government and advocacy.
Malania graduated Summa Cum Laude from Kent State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Her studies focused on public policy, social welfare, and community-based organizing. While at Kent State, Malania participated in the Washington Program in National Issues (WPNI) and worked on multiple political campaigns across the state of Ohio. She also served as an intern for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, where her main role was connecting Ohioans in need with federal and state resources.
In her time with Sunday Creek Horizons, Malania has specialized in education and child welfare policy, managing regional organizations such as the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools and the Appalachian Children Coalition. She currently serves as the youngest fellow in the 2022-2023 class of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Appalachian Leadership Institute. This institute is a collaborative leadership and economic development training program composed of a diverse network of professionals representing all 13 Appalachian states and a wide spectrum of perspectives and sectors; including tourism, healthcare, education, civil service, and more.