Heidi Khokhar

I serve as the Executive Director at Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) where I have the privilege to work collectively with a vast network of rural people, one of the region’s best employee teams, and a web of committed partners to strengthen rural people, places, and economies in the Pacific Northwest.

I grew up in a rural logging town in Southern Oregon at the height of changes in the region’s timber industry that pitted various communities, industries, and interest groups against one another. I have passionately served rural communities for 23+ years and am particularly committed to broad and ongoing development of diverse, skilled, and connected local leaders as the “silver bullet” solution to rural economic and community revitalization. I advocate for the elevation of rural voices, increased rural investments and resources, and policies that specifically meet and address the unique needs and issues of rural communities.

My education is in Planning, Public Policy & Management, with an emphasis on rural development and nonprofit management. My experience includes facilitating the development of rural community visions and strategic plans; authoring and delivering RDI’s Rural Community Leadership program; starting and supporting a 600-person rural volunteer training corps; and launching the WealthWorks Northwest and RuraLead initiatives.