WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rhiannon C. Hampson of Thomaston has been appointed Rural Development state director in Maine.

State directors serve as the chief executive officers of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development in the states and territories. With the guidance and support of the national office, state directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic goals of Rural Development.

Hampson grew up in Gardiner and the Machias area, and most recently served as district representative for agricultural and environmental issues in the office of Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st Dist. A member of a multigenerational military family, she previously worked with adults with developmental disabilities. She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Machias, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and community studies.

Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements, business development, housing, community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care, and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas.

In her new post, Hampson will be based in USDA Rural Development’s state office in Bangor.