Ms. Christine E. Weiss Daugherty

Rural Strategies
Charleston, West Virginia
United States

Focus Areas

Community & Civic Engagement
Economic Security
Community Development
Economic Development
Rural Development
Arts & Humanities
Social Justice
Civil Rights
Gender Issues


Beginning in 1972, raising a family on a farm in rural West Virginia provided Christine Weiss Daugherty with the background and life experience for a future career in national and international rural development. As a full-time production potter in the mid-sixties in Garrett’s Bend, West Virginia, Christine maintained a studio and taught and sold pottery in West Virginia for about fifteen years Turning away from craft work in the late seventies and working as an early advocate for jobs for women, Christine (a.k.a Chris Weiss) founded a women’s employment non-profit organization in West Virginia in 1980, advocating for women in non-traditional employment. She also established one of the first microenterprise programs in the US for rural women. In 1988, she left as Executive Director of Women and Employment and began operating a consulting firm called Rural Strategies. She consulted for Women’s World Banking and served as a Senior Program Associate at the Ms. Foundation for Women for four years. She was a founding Board member of many organizations, including the Association of Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), Great Oak Farm (a camp for Appalachian Children) and Appalachian by Design. In 1992, she was a visiting professor at the Center for Women’s Studies at West Virginia University as a co-director working on curriculum reform. From 1989 to 1993, Christine was a Fellow in the Kellogg Foundation’s International Leadership Program, traveling and working internationally. She spent a month in India studying women’s economic development programs, especially microenterprise. In 1996 to 1999 she held the position of Country Representative and Program Director of a rural community project assisting small villages in the Slovak Republic in Central Europe. There she established a countrywide network of rural NGOs called VOKA, which is still operative Over the years, her work has been focused on capacity building for non-profit organizations. Christine has provided consulting services in national and international community economic development, and consulted with non-profit organizations providing fund-raising training, strategic planning, organizational management, and executive coaching. Since 2000, she has resided in Charleston, West Virginia and spends the winter months in the San Francisco bay area. She currently splits her time with short-term contracts in both places as well as occasional over-seas assignments. She has a number of published articles and chapters in books on rural development in Appalachia and in 2001, on the work in Slovakia. She has most recently been a Board member of California Association of Enterprise Opportunity and AEO, giving her familiarity with the issues of national and regional microenterprise associations as well as with direct service programs. She served as chair of the AEO Rural Committee for three years from 2002 to 2005. The committee guides AEO in representing the concerns and interests of the rural programs members of AEO by exploring program designs unique to rural programs, discussing and informing committee members of best practices, and advocating for national and local rural policy that identifies the interests of rural AEO members. In 2006, Christine returned to her creative roots and re-established her pottery studio in Charleston, WV. She combines clay and photographic techniques to produce image transfers on clay and continues to provide family and friends with useful clay vessels. In California, she studies book art and watercolor painting and serves as secretary of the Oakland Museum Art Guild. However, she continues with her commitment and concern for the economic development of rural areas in the US and abroad, particularly for rural women.