Michael Held

Director of Rural Economic and Policy Services

For over ten years, I have worked across Appalachia and the Northwest bringing my passion for rural places and people to the dynamic challenges facing rural communities and businesses, and I'm happy to continue this work as RDI's Director of Rural Economic and Policy Services. I am a graduate of West Virginia University and the University of Oregon, where I received a BS in Social Work and an MA in Public Administration, respectfully. My eclectic experience includes spearheading a multi-million dollar infrastructure project, implementing innovative natural resource strategies, and successfully guiding dozens of locally organized economic vitality projects and programs. My areas of specialization include small business development, downtown revitalization, and placemaking strategies. In my free time, you’ll find me in the woods, on a river, or enthusiastically supporting the Northwest craft beverage industry.