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avatar for Paula Hunker

Paula Hunker

Auburn University
Director of Strategy and Policy, HSI

Paula Hunker is the Director of Strategy and Policy for the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University. She was posted to Auburn University by WFP to serve as a Senior Policy Advisor, representing the United Nation’s World Food Programme in their joint fight against hunger. She works closely with Dean June Henton and her team in supporting Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) and also building the Hunger Solutions Institute as a global knowledge portal to highlight lessons learned and innovative solutions that can be used to fight hunger at home and abroad.

Prior to her recent posting at Auburn, Ms. Hunker was working for WFP in Rome, serving as Chief of Executive Affairs for the former Executive Director of the World Food Programme. She focused on strategy, communication and outreach to build awareness for a number of strategic initiatives in areas such as nutrition, global food security and small farmer empowerment. Prior to WFP, Ms. Hunker was Policy and Communications Director for the Rodale Institute, the world’s oldest sustainable agriculture non-profit and research organization, helping them reposition and rebrand the organization. She also worked at the US State Department, serving as Chief of Staff and Senior Strategy Advisor to the Under Secretary of Economics, Business and Agricultural Affairs. There she worked on a number of initiatives, including innovative work on a UN High Level Panel on UN Reform and Coherence, and was the chief designer of the ONE UN pilot programs, which has brought coherence and efficiency to UN country offices and also recommended consolidating the UN’s gender work, which resulted in what is now UN Women. She also helped to create the Global Partnership Initiative, a new office at the State Department to build and improve the effectiveness of multi-sector partnerships as a critical component of development and diplomacy. Hunker has also worked as a strategic business consultant, working with clients such as Rutgers University on a project to strengthen small family farmers and Oxfam America on a project to raise awareness for water poverty, a crippling cause of poverty and hunger.


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