Press Release: RAFI-USA Welcomes New Executive Leadership


Contact: Sally Lee
[email protected]
(919) 323-7587

PITTSBORO, N.C., Nov. 2, 2017 — The Board of Directors and staff of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) announced today the appointment of two executive positions.

RAFI-USA is pleased to welcome Edna Rodriguez as its new Executive Director. With more than six years of experience at RAFI-USA working in development, programs and operations, Rodriguez brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new role. “I look forward to expanding the impact and reach of our programs and identifying compelling ways to advance our mission on behalf of farm families and rural communities,” said Rodriguez.

“In preparation for this transition, RAFI has undergone a thorough organizational assessment over the past year, and is poised to seamlessly move forward with the strong leadership of Edna Rodriguez, who has been acting co-director for the past 18 months,” said Alex Hitt, president of the board of directors.

The organization is equally pleased to welcome Sally Lee as its first Associate Director. “I am excited for this opportunity to work closely with our amazing staff, to build a strong and increasingly effective team, and to reinforce our commitment to our farmer and community partners,” said Lee. For more than five years, she has worked in various aspects of the organization including program development, farmer organizing and communications.

Savi Horne, executive director of the Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP), a longtime close partner of  RAFI-USA, extends her welcome to Rodriguez and Lee, saying “Congratulations to the new leadership team. The elevation of women leaders at RAFI comes at a time when women farmers are increasing their numbers in North Carolina agriculture and across the nation. This move is a promotion for two women who have proven their capacity to lead this organization at critical moments.”

Scott Marlow, former executive director, has chosen to shift into a senior program role focused on agricultural policy development and farmer advocacy. Marlow is now RAFI-USA’s Senior Policy Specialist. “At this very difficult time in the world, I am more committed than ever to our mission and programs, and believe that this transition will best serve both,” said Marlow.

Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid, also welcomed the news. “RAFI-USA is among our long-time, trusted partners, and absolutely critical to Farm Aid’s work. On behalf of all of us at Farm Aid, congratulations to Edna and Sally for their expanded leadership roles. Their experience in all facets of the organization will serve them well as leaders. We are also very pleased to see Scott return to an area of expertise and passion, where his experience will intensify his service to family farmers.”

In addition to bringing in new executive leadership, in the coming months RAFI-USA plans to hire a Communications Manager and a Development Director, further increasing the organization’s capacity and impact.

About the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA

The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA’s mission is to cultivate markets, policies, and communities that sustain thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. RAFI-USA works nationally and internationally, focusing on North Carolina and the southeastern United States. RAFI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, North Carolina and incorporated in 1990.


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