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Doug Hertzler

Doug Hertzler

Senior Policy Analyst

Meet Doug, one of our Senior Policy Analysts at ActionAid USA. His work focuses on land rights and global food security issues. His work includes monitoring global agricultural investment policies and advocating for civil society participation in food and agriculture policy.

Doug holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Iowa and has conducted research on social movements and land rights in Bolivia. Prior to that, he spent over five years living in indigenous smallholder villages in eastern Bolivia where he worked with agro-forestry and other rural development projects.

From 2001 through 2012, he served as a faculty member at Eastern Mennonite University, and as Associate Director of the Washington Community Scholars’ Center.Doug has a deep personal background in agriculture, having been raised in dairy, corn, soy, and vegetable farming in central Pennsylvania. He is fluent in English and Spanish and enjoys both urban and rural living. Overall, he loves being outdoors, so his latest goal is to find some more time to do more camping.

Why are you working with ActionAid?  

I share ActionAid’s commitment to building cooperative people power. We all have a responsibility to make sure there is equitable access to financial and natural resources for everyone to be able to live well. We all have economic, social, and cultural human rights and the responsibility to care for the planet without marginalizing anyone. 

I’m an expert! Talk to me about:

Food Security; the Right to Food and Agriculture; Climate Change; Climate Justice; Politics and Economics; Land Rights; Social Justice. 


POSTS BY Doug Hertzler

Insight /

Our Future is Burning, They’re Still Not Learning

June 29, 2023 By

TIAA, the retirement fund manager with $1.3 trillion in assets, continues to refuse to divest from fossil fuels and farmland, even as climate campaigners rallied in NYC that was choked with apocalyptic smoke.  On June 7, we teamed up with TIAA-Divest and the Stop Land Grabs campaign to mobilize an…

Insight /

Could bi-partisan action on land-grabbing happen soon?

February 8, 2023 By

Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the “Promoting Agriculture Safeguards and Security (PASS) Act into both houses of Congress. Another group, also bipartisan but predominantly Republican, has expressed support for the Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act. As journalist Lela Nargi has pointed out, both of these bills…

Insight /

New myths and new colonial land grabs

November 23, 2022 By

Many of us are still learning how to celebrate the harvest holiday of Thanksgiving with a new understanding of our history that embraces our collective future without relying on a national myth that has covered up the reality of land grabbing and genocide.   We must recognize and stop the new…

Blog Post /

Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ Territorial Rights in Guatemala

November 15, 2022 By

Recently, we welcomed a delegation of Indigenous leaders from Guatemala who were visiting Washington, D.C., to present their case for territorial rights in Guatemala to the Interamerican Human Rights Commission. Momentum against corruption in Guatemala’s justice system and favor of land rights was stopped by the Trump administration and some…

Insight /

If TIAA’s Roger Ferguson wants to be Treasury Secretary, he should fix his farmland problem

November 20, 2020 By

Co-Authors: Jim Goodman, National Family Farm Coalition, Board President; Jason Jarvis, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, Board President; Doug Hertzler, Senior Policy Analyst, ActionAid USA Authors’ note, 11/30/2020: Roger Ferguson is being considered for other high level economic posts in the Biden administration, including the National Economic Council. We hold the…