About NADO

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) is a 501c4 membership association that represents the interests of regional community and economic development practitioners. Established in 1967, NADO advocates for federal policies and programs that promote equitable community development, economic competitiveness, rural development, economic mobility, and quality of place. NADO represents a national network of more than 500 Regional Development Organizations (RDOs) across the country.

Regional Development Organizations

NADO represents the national network of more than 500 RDOs across the country. RDOs are multi-jurisdictional, quasi-governmental organizations that provide regional planning and local community and economic development services. 

These organizations collectively assist thousands of cities and counties with community development, economic development, workforce training, transportation planning, public infrastructure, affordable housing, disaster prevention, rural capacity-building, public health, regional planning, and the provision of other community services. 

Many RDOs help provide needed services and resources within underserved and rural communities. RDOs also administer a variety of federal, state, and local funds.

RDOs are also sometimes known as “Councils of Government” (COGs), Planning and Development Districts (PDDs), Regional Planning Councils (RPCs), Area Development Districts (ADDs), “Local Development Districts” (LDDs), and others.  

Many of these organizations also serve as federally-designated Economic Development Districts (EDDs), a designation given by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Some RDOs also have federal designations given by other federal agencies, including designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation as Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) or as Regional/Rural Transportation Planning Organizations (RTPOs) that play important roles in regional transportation planning. 

Although the work portfolio that an RDO conducts varies from one organization to another, in general, all RDOs facilitate a variety of community services and initiatives designed to bolster economic competitiveness and quality of life.

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Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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