Gary McNeely is a Brandon University alumnus graduating in 1983, before completing his Masters from the University of Guelph in 1985 and Doctorate from York University in 1995. He has taught courses in various disciplines, including Philosophy, English, and Fine Arts. He brings to RDI over 20 years of communications and editorial experience, serving as a grant writer and copy editor for the institute. Since 2009, he has been involved in the conceptualization and development of a number of major RDI research projects, including the Choice Matrix and more recently the Rural Policy Learning Commons. His current research interests have focused on essential skills development and qualification recognition both for Canadians and new immigrants to Canada, as well as on competency-based education as it pertains to training and professional development opportunities for rural policy analysts. He welcomes the opportunity to share this expertise with those engaged in research projects that build capacity in rural and northern communities.