Hal Hamilton co-founded the Sustainable Food Lab, and now serves as Senior Advisor. He is also a co-founder and faculty of the Academy for Systemic Change. His career has included farming, community organizing, leadership development, corporate consulting, and the design of dozens of programs to improve the lives of rural people and the places they steward.
Hal’s career began as a commercial dairy farmer in Kentucky, where he was named “Master Conservationist” by the local Conservation District board. While in Kentucky he led the development of the first formal alliance among tobacco farmers and public health organizations, an alliance that paved the way for hundreds of millions of dollars of tobacco settlement funds to be invested in rural communities in the upper south. He has founded and directed rural development and leadership organizations and was the executive director of the Sustainability Institute founded by Donella Meadows.
Hal has been a guest faculty lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and other business schools, adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative, John Berry Leadership awardee, German Marshall Fellow, Kellogg Fellow, and James Beard Foundation Leadership Awardee. At the invitation of the U.S. State Department in 2006, he gave the annual George McGovern address to the FAO at World Food Day.
Hal’s education was at Stanford University and the State University of New York, Buffalo. He has written numerous columns and journal articles and three chapters in books on agricultural policy and change, most recently:
- The Dawn of System Leadership,
- System Leaders,
- Can We Really Fix a Screwed-up World? Rebecca Henderson Thinks We Can,
- Us-Versus-Them Gets in the Way of Regenerative Agriculture: We need conventional farmers,
- Scaling Agricultural Transition: Understanding Why Agriculture Is The Way It Is & Then ID Leverage Points, and
- Businesses are Cultivating Regenerative Agriculture: Watch Out for 3 Potential Traps