Board of Directors

Loosely defined, a Board of Directors is “a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization.” We at the Western Rural Development Center define our Board of Directors as “compassionate experts who give generously of their time to effect positive change for the Rural West.” If it were not for this dedicated group of individuals, the Center would not be nearly as effective or successful in its efforts. We thank them for their continued inspiration and support.

2023 Board of Directors

The majority of the Western Rural Development Center's Board of Directors serve three-year terms beginning in January and ending in December. Several of our Partnering Organizations' Representatives serve on an ongoing basis as voted upon by the Board. 

Cooperative Extension Representatives

Mike Gaffney, Washington State University Extension
Pete Barcinas, University of Guam Extension
Lindsey Shirley, Colorado State University Extension
Ken White, (Chair, WRDC Board of Directors), Utah State University Extension

Agricultural Experiment Stations Representatives

Mark McGuire, University of Idaho
Chris Pritsos, University of Nevada Reno
Bret W. Hess, Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors 

1994 Land Grant Institution Representative

Benita Litson, Diné College, Arizona

Indigenous, Native, Tribal Representative

Currently vacant (September 2022)

Faculty Representatives

Paul Lachapelle, Montana State University
Debra Hansen, Washington State University
Cindy Reeves, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Partnering Organizations' Representatives

Edgar Ruiz, Council of State Governments-WEST
Jonathan Shuffield, National Association of Counties
Jake Tibbitts, CARET/APLU

Ex-Officio USDA Representatives

John Cromartie, USDA Economic Research Service
Sarah Rocker, USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture