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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

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Activists Demand Justice for Killing of Guatemalan Environmental Defender

December 9, 2015 By

Last week, representatives from communities affected by palm oil expansion in Guatemala delivered a civil society petition with nearly 50,000 signatures to the Guatemalan Attorney General demanding justice for the killing of environmental defender Rigoberto Lima. Rigoberto was shot outside the local courthouse in Sayaxché, Petén, on September 18, just one day…

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The New Alliance Model Doesn’t Work: More Evidence From Tanzania

July 2, 2015 By

Last year during a research trip to Tanzania, I visited Agrica’s Kilombero Plantations Limited, a large-scale 14,000 acre rice farm, supported by donor governments, international investors, and philanthropists. This project is part of the G7’s New Alliance and is the proto-type for their “win-win” strategy for investors and farmers – the idea…

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Frozen or Failed? Sugarcane Project in Tanzania on Hold

May 20, 2015 By

EcoEnergy’s massive sugarcane project has “vanished into thin air”, according to initial media reports. The Swedish government has decided to withdraw its offer to invest $100 million in the project, citing the company’s failure to meet conditions for the financing by their April 30 deadline. The decision followed the release of ActionAid’s report which…

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Taking Opposition to the New Alliance to the White House

April 3, 2015 By

On Monday I was joined by Josaphat from our team in Tanzania and Adriano Campolina, ActionAid International’s CEO, to deliver a petition from nearly 6,000 ActionAid supporters calling for an end to the New Alliance. We met with Gayle Smith, who advises the President on global development issues, to discuss…