The Governor’s Office of Rural Development represents a multifaceted, multidisciplinary investment in the improvement of rural Louisiana. All across this state, once-thriving communities have seen generations of young people leave in search of economic opportunities. The intent of this council is to foster those opportunities closer to home. By building the systems necessary to sustain growth, this council will create new life and opportunity in rural Louisiana. 

The advisory council is comprised of 37 key state and local stakeholders appointed by the Governor. This council will be chaired by retired chief of staff and former Senator Ben Nevers. Membership includes designees of the president of the senate, as well as the speaker of the house, the chairman of the rural caucus, and the chairman of the black caucus. Other members are drawn from state government, higher education, nonprofit leadership, and the private sector.

The Council is required to develop and submit a comprehensive strategic plan to the Governor by January 5, 2021 as well as annual progress reports thereafter.  The duties of this council are to advise the Governor on issues of concern to the citizens of rural Louisiana. This council will maximize its efforts by discovering and harnessing state, federal, and private resources in bold new ways.  The council will diligently work to identify practices from other states and bring those to Louisiana through executive or legislative efforts to best achieve the goal of rural revitalization.  Additionally, the Council on Rural Revitalization will be responsible for identifying the needs and solutions in eight areas of focus: economic development, education, healthcare, infrastructure, clean water, agriculture and forestry, workforce development, and broadband. It is a comprehensive improvement to these key areas that will create lasting and sustainable growth.

Click here to read the Louisiana Governor's Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization: Strategic Plan Report.


Strategic Planning Toolkit

Strategic Planning Roadmap

June Meeting Agenda


Gov. Edwards Establishes Advisory Council on Rural Revitalization



Noble Ellington, Executive Director

Ali Jones, Executive Assistant and Communications Director

1.    Regional Planning Commission

  • Parishes: Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, Plaquemines

Diane Hollis, Regional Director

2.    Capital Region Planning Commission

  • Parishes: Ascension, EBR, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Point Coupee, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Washington, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana

Major Coleman, Regional Director

3.    South Central Planning and Development District

  • Parishes: Assumption, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, Terrebonne

Michelle Eroche, Regional Director

4.    Acadiana Planning Commission 

  • Parishes: Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, Vermillion
Alison (Ali) Bates, Regional Director

5.   Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development District
  • Parishes: Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis

Emily Stine, Regional Director

6.    Kisatchi Delta Regional Planning and Development District

  • Parishes: Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon, Winn

Lindlay Howell, Regional Director

7.    Coordinating & Development District

  • Parishes: Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine. Webster

Carlos Jones, Regional Director

8.    North Delta Regional Planning & Development District

  • Parishes: Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, West Carroll

Bubba Chaney, Regional Director

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