Director, Policy and Grants
Director, Policy and Grants
Alan R. Hunt, Ph.D. grew up along the Musconetcong River on his grandparents’ small farm and greenhouse operation. The outdoors was like an additional parent, teaching him the ways of nature, recognizing both the changes and patterns of the natural world. He earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies, cum laude, at Bates College, Maine and a Masters in Environmental Management, with a specialty in Resource Economics and Policy from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. For five years, Alan worked in Washington DC on policies for sustainable agriculture and healthy food access to underserved communities, forming multi-sector alliances between organizations representing the environmental, sustainable agriculture, minority farmers, trade associations, public health advocates, and farmers market associations. He authored and co-authored several pieces of the 2008 Farm Bill, including a rural business loan guarantee for local food systems which continues to provide more than $1 billion in financing to the private sector and the healthy urban food enterprise development center.
With the award of a Fulbright fellowship in 2010, he undertook research comparing American and British approaches to policies on local food systems, earing a PhD in Rural Development at Newcastle University and authoring a book: Civic Engagement in Food Systems (Routledge, 2015). Alan returned to the family farm in 2013, and his family has been bringing it back to life after it skipped a generation. Prior to joining MWA, Alan worked at Wholesome Wave as Policy Director, and opened their Washington DC office, and also operated his own consulting firm for nine years, Local Food Strategies LLC.
Alan's family has been members of the MWA from just about its start. He served on the Board of Directors in 2016, and served as Executive Director from fall 2016 through 2019. Alan draws on his multi-disciplinary expertise as a natural and social scientist to spur creative synergies and partnerships that bring lasting change, and is a gifted technical writer. He is published on topics of community relationship formation at farmers markets, social determinants of health and healthy eating, non-point source pollution reduction strategies, and National Wild and Scenic River policy.
At MWA, Alan has a variety of roles, ranging from stakeholder engagement, policy development and advocacy, project management, and grant writing, and provides content expertise on scientific research methods, recreation, and cultural resource management. He is a member of the Coalition for the Delaware River Watershed's Steering Committee, the co-chair of the Asbury Mill Committee, and the River Administrator of the Musconetcong River Management Council. Alan enjoys trail running, hiking, kayaking, and gardening; restoring a riparian buffer along the Musconetcong River with native trees and plants; and running the family farm with his wife and daughter.