William (Bill) Ashton

Former Director (retired), Rural Development Institute
  • Ph.D.

Bill Ashton retired in November, 2021. Bill Ashton contributes to local and regional development agencies, including Westman Community Futures board and the Manitoba Minister’s Immigration Council. In his recent doctoral research he gained insight about developing policy from influential policy makers across Canada in government, businesses, and environmental organizations. Over his career, he has directed the development and delivery of transforming leadership programs for professionals. His applied research on rural issues has contributed to self-directed information guides on such diverse topics as watershed management with the United Nations University, housing needs analysis, crime prevention, and community economic development. A hallmark of Bill Ashton’s practice is the consistent engagement with those facing the issue and those implementing the response. He has taught and completed a variety of research projects at Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick. His career in local, regional and provincial governments and his own entrepreneurial activities have taken him from Newfoundland to British Columbia and to the Yukon. To build knowledge, Bill has published peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, magazine stories, manuscripts, and reports on many important social, economic, and environmental issues facing rural and northern communities and regions in Canada.

Research Interests include:

  • Policy formation and community-based development
  • Leadership development, partnerships, and governance
  • Future trends and problem-solving strategies