Director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania
Barry L. Denk’s professional career began in 1975 following his undergraduate education at the University of Pittsburgh. He has held management positions in community based organizations, education, and government. For 10 years, he headed a workforce and entrepreneurial development project at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and, as a result of that work, consulted with the World Bank and U.S. Department of Commerce on Eastern European development matters. Following graduate school at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, he joined the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a legislative research agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, in 1992 and was named Executive Director in 1996.
Mr. Denk has served on the boards of numerous statewide associations including the Pennsylvania Rural Health Association, Pennsylvania Rural Partners, Pennsylvania Downtown Center, and Preservation Pennsylvania. Some of his appointments include the Governor’s Advisory Council on Rural Affairs, the Governor’s Sound Land Use Advisory Board, the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the Penn State Council on Engaged Scholarship. For four years he served as staff vice-chair and chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, contributing to an NCSL publication titled, “Meeting the Challenges of Rural America”. He served as steering committee chairman for a statewide planning effort that produced, “Heritage Tourism Development: A Policy Framework for Pennsylvania”. Mr. Denk is regularly called upon to address state and national audiences on the research and trend analyses work of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. He is a founding member of the National Coalition of State Rural Policy Centers.