Michael D. Wilcox, Jr. is Purdue Extension's Assistant Director and Program Leader for Community Development. He is also a Community and Regional Economics Specialist in the Department of Agricultural Economics. As Assistant Director, Michael furthers the mission of Purdue Extension by fostering innovative, high impact Extension programs. Specifically, Michael provides motivation, strategy, vision and coordination for the development and delivery of Community Development Extension programs that address the diverse needs in Indiana communities and beyond. He is also a Senior Associate at the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD), leading and supporting Center projects related to regional development.
Michael's Extension and research work integrates the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability into addressing community and regional economic issues, with a focus on entrepreneurship, placemaking and community capacity building. Michael has been involved in research and Extension projects centered on the marketing of tropical tree crops in western Africa and Latin American and conservation agriculture in southern Africa.
Michael, a past president of the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals, holds a B.S. in biological sciences from Cornell, a M.S. in fisheries and allied aquacultures from Auburn and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Purdue. He served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.