JD Dunbar

JD is a wordsmith by profession and a speaker/educator by trade. She claims that she’s been trying her whole life to prove that her parents didn’t pin her with a misnomer— “Joy.” Her background is an eclectic blend that incorporates time served in industry, in Communication for the General Electric Company; time served in community service, as the Director of the Clarion Chamber of Commerce; and a stint in private business, as an Advertising Manager for Paul Weaver Jewelers.  She is currently the Program Director of RULE, the Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership Program, based at Penn State, and has held that position for 31 years.

Her Penn State title is Senior Extension Educator where she works on leadership development programming for both the university and external audiences. Her robust purview of responsibilities comes with a barometer so that each day looks vibrantly different. She is an international public speaker on leadership & communication. A member of the National Speakers Association, she has been featured in keynotes in six countries and 20 states. A trustee of the PA State System of Higher Education for 11 years, JD is in her third term as Chairwoman for Clarion University Council of Trustees. She has been active in the PA Council of Trustees (PACT) on the state level, developing trustee position description, trustee accountability forms and Council of Trustee evaluations. She is currently chairing the Governance Committee on a quest to elevate Student Trustee visibility.

Educated at Clarion University (BA & MS) and Penn State (ABD), JD completed a Kellogg fellowship in leadership development at the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy in Washington, D.C.  She is an alumna of the Pennsylvania’s RULE Leadership Program, Class II. 

She sums up her job and advocacy roles by saying that she is a “leadership grower.”

JD Dunbar

Director, Pennsylvania Rural-Urban Leadership Program