Vermont Council on Rural Development
Paul Costello has served as the Executive Director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development since 2000. VCRD runs an annual Rural Summit, and conducts “Community Visits” that help rural communities build priorities, set action plans, and build connections to resources. It also provides customized facilitation on rural development policy at the local, regional and state level. In the last few years VCRD has founded and produced the Vermont Agriculture Viability Council, the Vermont Forest Products Council, the Vermont Council on Culture and Innovation, the Vermont Council on Planning, the Vermont Rural Energy Council, the Council on the Future of Vermont, the Working Landscape Council and the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council, and has led major initiatives to advance the use of broadband tools in rural communities throughout Vermont. VCRD is leading Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium to advance the state as a national epicenter of food systems education.
Paul is a native Vermonter who attended UVM before earning a PhD in intellectual history at McGill. He has served on boards ranging from corrections education to cooperatives and libraries, and is currently committed to a three-person blue ribbon commission on Government Restructuring and Operations for the State of Vermont, and the boards of Vermont Rural Ventures, the Center for an Agricultural Economy, and Partners for Rural America.