I’m proud to be able to say that I was just renewed for another two-year term in the Microsoft Regional Director (RD) program. I very much love this program and, as always, am honored to be a part of it.

Many folks have asked me about the RD program and what it means, so I thought I would spend a few words talking about the program and its purpose.

First of all, though, it’s important to know that this is an entirely unpaid position.  RD’s get no financial compensation from Microsoft, and in fact the title is a bit of a misnomer in that RD’s are not really a director of anything, and also  are no longer “regional” (this is a legacy of previous incarnations of the program when RD’s were assigned to a particular territory, which is no longer the case). It’s also important to know that you will sometimes see different definitions of the role; what you are reading here is my own take on it from well over a decade of participation.

The program consists of about 160 top influencers and technologists globally in the Microsoft community, chosen specifically for their proven cross-platform expertise, community and business leadership, and commitment to providing feedback to Microsoft. This is one reason that I used the word “honored.”  This is a truly spectacular group of accomplished people to be involved with. I see RD’s every day building amazing solutions for customers, working with Microsoft on high visibility global programs, keynoting at top industry events, leading community groups and local initiatives, serving on boards of directors, running technology-focused companies, and speaking in front of government agencies on technology issues of the moment.  Compare this to the more technology and developer community focus of another well-known program, the Microsoft MVP program.  There are similarities between the two programs, but the broader business and strategic focus of the RD’s is the main differentiator, at least in my own view.

The RD’s are awarded by Microsoft based on a rigorous set of evaluation criteria designed to help select the best representatives from the Microsoft community, working to support the strategic technology needs of Microsoft and the world’s most impactful businesses. There is a two-year renewal cycle for everyone. This is a position for which you constantly have to show you are providing value.

The connection to Microsoft is also an important component, as another goal of the program is to provide Microsoft leaders with customer insights and real-world voices in support of its mission of empowering developers, IT professionals, and business leaders with world class and innovative tools, services, and solutions. In short, Regional Directors are also friends and advisors to Microsoft.

You can learn more about the RD Program (and me) at the following links: