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 serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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