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Kathryn Gaasch

Program Director

Asheville, NC

Kathryn Gaasch is a Program Director for MDC’s Rural Forward program. She joined Rural Forward as a partnership manager in July 2018 and was promoted to program director in September 2021. In her role, Kathryn works to strengthen the leadership infrastructure in Healthy Places NC counties, primarily in western NC. She provides a range of consulting services, including facilitation, training, coaching, relationship brokering, program planning, and grants development. She has particular expertise in evaluation systems and data management and leads our work on clinical issues. 

Prior to joining Rural Forward and MDC, Kathryn worked with a variety of nonprofits and organizations providing community-based support domestically and internationally, ranging from built environment initiatives in rural western NC to climate change adaptation solutions for coffee farmers in Latin America. Her passion for community-based work drove her to pursue a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University, with a certificate in community-based environmental management after attaining her bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech. 

A former consultant who worked across the mid-Atlantic region, Kathryn provided environmental assessments and recommendations. She currently calls Asheville, NC home.