Rural Development Network CEO Update

To all of our RDN friends and colleagues: 

Following an extensive search process, the Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Lisa Bélanger as RDN’s Chief Executive Officer. 

Lisa has been with RDN for nearly six years, and most recently served as Director of Operations. She is passionate about the organization and committed to its mandate. The Board is confident that Lisa’s vision, dedication, and experience will be instrumental in her new role. 

Lisa succeeds Dee Ann Benard, who served as RDN’s CEO for 15 years. The Board is grateful for all of Dee Ann’s many contributions. 

Please join us in welcoming Lisa to her new role! We are confident that she will propel RDN forward in building community capacity for rural, remote, and Indigenous communities across Canada. 


Kevin Shufflebotham, RDN Board Chair

More about Lisa Bélanger

As CEO, Lisa is committed to RDN’s mission of building community capacity through collaboration and addressing gaps in rural social and economic development. Formerly serving as the Director of Operations at RDN, she played a key role in developing strategies for effective community-focused operations, organizational growth, and financial sustainability. Her extensive knowledge of our programs, and understanding of community needs and opportunities, enables her to continue driving RDN’s mission forward. 

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta, focusing on Strategic Management and Operations with a minor in Business Economics and Law. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Great Divide Trail Association. In addition to her professional commitments, Lisa’s drive and love for adventure is evident with notable achievements including a 4,265 km 4.5-month thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, and completing a 100-mile ultramarathon. Whether working on issues that affect rural Canada or pushing her limits in the outdoors, Lisa brings a high level of organization, energy and skill to everything she undertakes.