Developing Rural Leaders

RDI’s flagship program provides a foundation to grow vital communities by training a critical mass of connected leaders.  Program participants learn to identify community needs, work together to identify priorities, and ensure community projects are implemented.

In rural communities we understand that leadership is not a position, it’s an activity! Anyone at any time has the opportunity to grow the skills to be a leader. The purpose of RDI’s Rural Community Leadership Program (RCLP) is to connect rural residents to each other and to their communities in a way that promotes vitality in rural places. Our leadership training is based on the belief that vital rural communities develop from:

  • A broad base of diverse, knowledgeable, skilled, and connected local leaders
  • Effective organizations
  • Productive collaborations among all voices in a community
White River Plateau (WA) Rural Community Leadership Program

Members of the second cohort of the White River Plateau Rural Community Leadership Program in Washington participated in a series of nine 3-hour classes this spring. Cohort members learned to serve their community, expanded leadership skills, and connected with others in their region. The training was held virtually and as part of the program, participants came to consensus on a community project to provide container gardens at a tiny house development. Vegetables and herbs will be grown in the gardens with a goal of providing a sustainable food source for the community.


Christian Vazquez-Rivera

Bilingual Program Manager cvazquezrivera (at)

Heidi Khokhar

Executive Director
hkhokhar (at)

Jessie Katon

Executive and Finance Coordinator
jkaton (at)

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