Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) Appoints Olga Morales-Pate as New CEO

August 9, 2022 By Coye Gerald
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Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) Appoints Olga Morales-Pate as New CEO

Morales-Pate to lead national network of nonprofit partners working to improve rural America’s quality of life

WASHINGTON, D.C., (August 9, 2022)— The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) announced today that Olga Morales-Pate was appointed the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer. An experienced environmental justice and rural community development leader, Morales-Pate will succeed interim CEO Keith Ashby and assume responsibilities October 1.

Morales-Pate worked as Assistant Director of the Community & Environmental Program at the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), the Western RCAP, since 2018 where she currently leads a team of 32. She previously held other environmental and rural development positions with RCAC; and led the environmental inspection team at the Army’s White Sands Missile Range and was an environmental scientist for the New Mexico Environment Department. In 2008, President George W. Bush appointed Morales-Pate to the EPA’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council (NDWAC), where she established strong working relationships with the agency while leading advisory efforts on issues, such as climate change, hydraulic fracturing, carbon sequestration, and harmful algae blooms and cyanotoxins among others.

“The unanimous selection of Olga Morales-Pate to lead RCAP is a testament to her many years of hard work and dedication to rural America,” said Rick Martinez, Chairman of RCAP’s Board of Directors. “She has sat at the table with hundreds of communities working directly with them to achieve critical infrastructure goals and help sustain their systems. From the smallest mutual domestic water association to our national partners in D.C. and around the county, Olga is well suited to help America’s rural communities reach the next level.”

“The appointment of Olga Morales-Pate as our new CEO reflects our continued institutional commitment to rural and tribal communities,” said Keith Ashby, RCAP Interim CEO. “Olga brings with her many years of experience working on RCAP’s mission. She understands the importance of our Technical Assistance Providers being connected to local communities through our national regional partnerships and to our whole organization’s relationship with federal funders. She is prepared to lead RCAP into the future as we strive to continue to meet the needs of rural communities.”

During her 19 years at RCAC, Morales-Pate collaborated directly with small, rural, and tribal communities across the west on the development of infrastructure projects and capacity building and managed an annual portfolio of nearly $10 million in grants and contracts. She also developed and led the organization’s Regionalization Program, which has facilitated over 100 partnerships efforts across the west and has been successfully replicated all over the country. Morales-Pate also authored legislation that established the New Mexico Colonias Infrastructure Fund which has secured $144.6 million for 263 infrastructure projects since 2011.

“While it is bittersweet for Olga to transition from RCAC to RCAP, it is also a monumental step forward for her and the RCAP network,” said Suzanne Anarde, chief executive officer of RCAC. “Olga’s experience, passion and lived experience in rural and underserved communities will serve the entire RCAP network in an incredibly authentic way. RCAC looks forward to Olga’s leadership and continued partnership as CEO of RCAP.”

“It is an absolute honor and privilege to be selected by the RCAP Board to lead this wonderful organization,” Morales-Pate said. “I am proud to join the RCAP national team and continue to be a part of this great network. Rural America faces many challenges including a lack of basic infrastructure which keeps communities from materializing economic development and other opportunities needed to achieve long-term sustainability. I stand ready to work with the RCAP team, our larger RCAP network and our many partners across the country so we can collaborate to tackle the biggest needs of our small, rural, and tribal communities to help empower them to make their communities sustainable and thriving. “

Morales-Pate holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture and extension education from New Mexico State University.


The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) is a national network of non-profit partners working to provide technical assistance, training, resources, and support to rural communities across every state, the U.S. territories, and tribal lands. Through RCAP’s regional partners, more than 300 technical assistance providers (TAPs) build long-term, trusted relationships with thousands of communities across the country.


Seth Johnson
[email protected]

>>Click here to read the full press release!

By Coye Gerald

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