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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 /

How much do we need to pay TIAA to stop grabbing farmland?

July 1, 2020 By

Having worked all my life in farming, agricultural development, education and social change, I know that land and water are the basis of life for communities everywhere. That’s why I am alarmed that the company running my retirement fund, TIAA, is proud to be both the world’s largest manager of…

Insight /

Part 2: TIAA’s farms up close

July 8, 2019 By

Part 1: TIAA’s “sustainability reports” can’t paper over the impacts of land grabbing Champaign County is the home of the University of Illinois and some of the richest farmland in the world. It is also home to Westchester Farm Services, the TIAA subsidiary that manages most of their farmland in…