Connie Stewart

Connie Stewart

Executive Director, California Center for Rural Policy, Thrive Rural: Connecting Rural Development, Health and Opportunity

For the past 11 years, Connie Stewart has been Executive Director at the California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) at Humboldt State University, a research center committed to informing policy, building community, and promoting the health and well-being of rural people and environments.

The Center works on a variety of issues including: health and human services access, cost and quality, broadband deployment, adoption and policy; wealth creation and economic development; food systems and food security; and data and evaluation services for community programs. It has a staff of 15 people.

Connie was honored to receive the 2017 Rural County Representatives of California President’s Award, for her work to bring broadband to rural California communities.  She also was honored with the 2014 “Nonprofit Leader Achievement Award” from the Northern California Association of Nonprofits and the 2014 “Innovations in Networking Award for Gigabit/Broadband Applications” from the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California.

Prior to joining CCRP, Connie was a Mayor and a member of the City Council in Arcata, California.

Connie is currently a member of Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group’s Rural Development Innovation Group – a leadership group of seasoned rural economic development practitioners from across the country.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of Redwood Acres Fairground and the Open Door Community Health Center’s Board of Directors. She graduated in 1988 with a B.A. in speech communication.

Connie’s personal passions are cooking, gardening, paper crafting and watching sports.  She has more than 100 cookbooks that she could list as her favorite book. Connie has 85 different rose bushes in her back yard, she turned her spare bedroom into a craft studio and is a die-hard football fan. She’s the kind of woman who might make a man complain, “Honey, you never talk to me during half-time anymore.”

Authored by Connie