WASHINGTON, D.C., November 12, 2020 – Today, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced that Brandon McBride will join the Agency as ARC’s Executive Director. As the Executive Director, McBride will lead the administrative, programmatic, and fiscal management of ARC to ensure that the organization’s structure, budget, and programs support the Commission’s strategic investment plan, as well as the Executive branch and States’ initiatives for the Region. McBride will supervise over 50 professional staff, and report directly to both the Federal Co-Chairman and the 13 regional governors who comprise the full Commission. McBride succeeds Charles Howard, ARC’s General Counsel, who has been serving as ARC’s Interim Executive Director since November, 2019.
“Brandon is an experienced leader who knows and understands rural America and the people who work and live in its communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “He will be a champion for the Appalachian Region, and has the confidence of the entire Commission. He is the right choice at a critical time for ARC, and I look forward to seeing the work he will do.”
McBride comes to the Commission from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC). As the Vice President of Federal Relations, a position he held for more than three years, McBride managed legislative and regulatory issues affecting the organization. Prior to joining CFC, McBride served as the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). With a staff of approximately 250 and a loan portfolio approaching $60 billion, the agency offers programs that invest in improvements to existing infrastructure or the development of new infrastructure across rural America. McBride’s appointment as RUS Administrator followed his role as a senior staff member for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. As a Committee staff member, McBride helped develop policies supporting rural economic and community development. A native Arkansan, McBride earned his undergraduate degrees as well as his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Arkansas State University.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve in a leadership role at the Commission,” McBride said. “I have always been impressed by ARC’s impact in the Region, and I look forward to being a part of the Commission’s efforts to support Appalachian communities in fulfilling their potential.”
During fiscal year 2020, ARC approved $161.8 million in funding for 474 investments which attracted an additional $304.7 million in other project funding, and $858 million in leveraged private investment across Appalachia. These investments are projected to create or retain an estimated 26,000 jobs and train more than 20,500 students, workers, and leaders in new skills across Appalachia.
About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.