Connie Stewart

Executive Director of Initiatives for HSU & Chief Policy Advisor for CCRP


Connie Stewart is the Center's former Executive Director, but stepped down in 2020 to take on a new role at HSU.  She now serves as the Executive Director of initiatives for the University but remains involved with CCRP as serves as Chief Policy Advisor.  Connie moved to Arcata to attend Humboldt State University 37 years ago and has never left. She graduated in 1988 with a B.A. in speech communication.

After graduating, she got a local job at the Northcoast Environmental Center, where she worked for 14 years until she was recruited by former Assemblymember Patty Berg to work for the state legislature covering one of the largest rural districts in the lower 48. She was elected to the Arcata City Council in 1996 and was re-elected in 2000, serving as mayor for two years. Connie received the 2017 Rural County Representatives of California President’s Award, for her work to bring broadband to rural California communities. She also was honored with the 2014 “Nonprofit Leader Achievement Award” from the Northern California Association of Nonprofits and the 2014 “Innovations in Networking Award for Gigabit/Broadband Applications” from the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC). State Senator Mike McGuire named Connie "2016 Humboldt county Woman of the Year."

Connie is currently a member of Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group’s Rural Development Innovation Group – a leadership group of seasoned rural economic development practitioners from across the country. Connie also serves on the Board of Directors of Redwood Acres Fairground and the Open Door Community Health Center’s Board of DirectorsHer personal passions are paper crafting, cooking, gardening and watching sports. She’s the kind of woman who might make a man complain, “Honey, you never talk to me during half-time anymore.”