Hal Hamilton co-founded the Sustainable Food Lab, and now serves as Senior Advisor. He supports Food Lab partners in a variety of ways: consulting on strategy, advising individuals on their own paths, and facilitating external advisory processes.
Hal’s career began as a commercial dairy farmer in Kentucky, and over the years he became a community organizer, led leadership development programs, succeeded Donella Meadows as the executive director of her Sustainability Institute, and co-founded the Academy for Systems Change. His passions include system change, supporting individuals and teams to be effective, and renewing farming regions to be good places to live and work.
During 15 years of farming in Kentucky, Hal was named “Master Conservationist” by the local Conservation District board. He also 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 U.S. upper south.
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, journal articles, and chapters in three books on agricultural policy and change. The following are recent articles: