Paul Costello


Paul Costello served as the Executive Director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) from 2000 to 2021.  VCRD runs an annual Rural Summit and conducts “Community Visits” that help rural communities build priorities, set action plans, and build connections to resources.  It also provides facilitation on rural development policy at the local, regional and state level, including more than a dozen major rural policy council efforts, and has built significant programs to advance the digital economy. 

Paul attended UVM before earning a PhD in intellectual history at McGill.  He has served on boards ranging from corrections education to cooperatives, libraries and Governor’s commissions, including co-chairing the Climate Action Team and chairing the Local Support and Community Action Team of the Vermont Covid-19 Recovery Task Force.  He is past president of the national community development association, Partners for Rural America.