About the Microsoft Regional Director Program
The Regional Director Program provides Microsoft leaders with the customer insights and real-world voices it needs to continue empowering developers and IT professionals with the world's most innovative and impactful tools, services, and solutions.
Established in 1993, the program consists of 160 of the world's top technology visionaries chosen specifically for their proven cross-platform expertise, community leadership, and commitment to business results. You will typically find Regional Directors keynoting at top industry events, leading community groups and local initiatives, running technology-focused companies, or consulting on and implementing the latest breakthrough within a multinational corporation.
Do Regional Directors work for Microsoft?
No, Regional Directors are not employed by Microsoft. In some cases, Regional Directors or their companies may have contracts to deliver goods or services to Microsoft but they are not employees.
How are Regional Directors selected by Microsoft?
Regional Directors are hand-picked by Microsoft based on a rigorous set of evaluations designed to help us select the best representatives of developer, IT Pro, and strategic technology needs of the world's most impactful businesses.
How long is a Regional Director's term?
A Regional Director's term is two years.
How do Regional Directors work with Microsoft?
Regional Directors act in a non-paid advisory capacity with Microsoft. On an ongoing basis, RDs are asked to participate in scheduled strategic feedback sessions with Microsoft senior leadership teams. Because of their community leadership positions, passion, commitment to technology and business excellence, RDs have a regular outlet where they can express real-time customer and community feedback directly with Microsoft engineers and the senior leadership team, including Satya.
I'd like to become a Regional Director and believe I meet the qualifications. Is this possible?
We actively search for amazing leaders. RD nominees come from Microsoft full-time employees or other RDs. If you have a relationship with either of those you should express your interest. We open up nominations once a year, typically in January. Usually we have very few available slots and hundreds of candidates but we are continually looking for new leaders to step in.
Do Regional Directors have specific technology expertise?
We like to think of RDs as technology generalists. Most of them have significant technology backgrounds but have progressed their careers to the point where they have architect level depth across both Microsoft and non-Microsoft platforms. This uniquely helps qualify them to work with our product teams to understand the needs of all customers which ultimately helps us build better products.
What is the difference between an RD and an MVP?
Many of our RDs also carry the MVP award title, although many are finding it harder to maintain both credentials as each has different demands on the member's time which makes it difficult to qualify and maintain both. However, the key differences really come down to the business consultative nature, customer experience, and cross-platform architect skills possessed by RDs versus the deep technical focus on Microsoft technologies which qualifies an MVP.