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


Trump’s Immigration and Border Policies: Trapping People in a Pressure Cooker

January 25, 2017 By

Donald Trump opened his campaign by attacking immigrants, saying “they’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Trump’s belittling caveat “And some, I assume, are good people” only rubbed salt in the wounds. Immigrants and refugees, documented or undocumented, are actually less likely to commit crimes than native born U.S.…

Insight /

I’m Alarmed at How TIAA Is Investing My Retirement Funds

November 14, 2016 By

As a person whose work-life as a teacher and as a public policy analyst has been grounded in anthropology, I am very alarmed at the way in which my retirement funds are being used by the investment firm TIAA (formerly Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association—College Retirement Equities Fund) to undermine…

Insight /

Important Victories Against Agribusiness Land Grabs in Kenya

August 31, 2016 By

Local communities, social movements and their allies have won some important victories recently to stop big land grabs around the world. Just last month people in Yala Swamp in Kenya, supported by ActionAid, won a court decision against Dominion Farms, a company from the United States, which has been grabbing…

Insight /

Sugar Shortage in Tanzania

May 20, 2016 By

This morning I read a BBC report that Tanzania doesn’t have enough sugar. Supplies on the store shelves are getting low and the price is rising. Apparently this happened in response to a government decision to restrict sugar imports. According to the BBC, Tanzania produces about 320,000 tons of sugar…

Insight /

They can’t kill Berta Caceres

March 4, 2016 By

Yesterday morning, Lenca indigenous community land rights activist, human and environmental rights defender, Berta Caceres, was assassinated by gunmen in the town of La Esperanza in Honduras. Over the past two weeks, Berta had been involved in leading a protest by Lenca indigenous people against a hydroelectric dam in the…