Emily Edmonds, MPA

Founder and Director

Emily Edmonds, MPA, is a government and nonprofit professional with over 20 years of experience in US local & regional government. She started her career as a town clerk to a village of 189 people and most recently served as the National Programs Director for the US-based Engaging Local Government Leaders, serving over 4,000 local government employees. 

Her work has primarily focused on program & policy development and research to support solving wicked problems, such as food systems, rural economic development, affordable housing, innovation & tech ethics, and performance management of difficult projects. She holds a BA from Western Carolina University in Social Philosophy & Policy and an MPA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed her graduate thesis on modern approaches to rural economic development. 

She is the author of A Government Guide to Building Regional Food Economies, published by NC State University, and several research papers focused on using new types of data to better inform public decisionmaking. Her teaching experience includes more than ten years in professional development and adult education, specializing in farm & food business development, local government, grantwriting, nonprofit management and risk management. 

A native of the Appalachian region of Western North Carolina, she enjoys travel, typewriters, and learning to skate with her teenage daughter. You can also find her on LinkedIn.