Michelle Decker is the Chief Executive Officer of Rural Action, a regional sustainable development nonprofit in Appalachian Ohio working on waste, forestry, food systems, watershed restoration, and energy. For the last 20 years Ms. Decker has held leadership positions in community economic development and has specialized in rebuilding or constructing nonprofit development organizations in both urban and rural communities.
In Baltimore, Maryland, she was the Executive Director of the Southeast Community Development Corporation, increasing its staff and budget by 30% over 3 years and helping bring new market-based strategies to neighborhoods in Southeast Baltimore. She was also a co-founder of the Maryland Asset Building Community Development Network, a policy and communications group serving a broad nonprofit constituency. She was an attendee at the CGI America meeting in Chicago and participated in the Rural Economy Working Group.
Michelle is a member of the Rural Policy Research Institute’s National Advisory Board and leads Rural Action’s participation in the Central Appalachian Network, Central Appalachian Forestry Alliance, and Central Appalachian Regional Network. She holds a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a B.A. in Art History from the University of Cincinnati. Michelle lives with her husband and two children in The Plains, Ohio.