John Coonrod is the executive vice president of The Hunger Project, where he is responsible for research and advocacy. He works closely with the president and CEO on all aspects of strategy, including programs, fundraising and communications and is based in Washington, DC.
He is a leading spokesperson for the organization and has been interviewed on BBC, CNN and NBC television. John is an expert on bottom-up, gender-focused development and decentralized local governance who has lectured at the United Nations, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Princeton University and the United States Air Force Academy.
Coonrod serves as co-chair of InterAction’s Food Security and Agriculture working group, as advisor and board member to a number of emerging international NGOs. He is an avid amateur photographer and figure skater.
He became The Hunger Project’s first volunteer in March of 1977, joined its staff in 1985, and has participated in the development and implementation of all of its programs.
He grew up in the midwest and was trained as a physicist at Stanford (BSc) and the University of California-Berkeley (MS, PhD), during which time he was active in the civil rights and anti-war movements. He worked as a research physicist at Princeton University from 1978 through 1984. As a physicist, he was involved in the design and construction of the High-Energy Astronomical Observatory satellite, the first whole-body CAT scanner and the first tokamak designed to achieve a break-even fusion reaction.
At The Hunger Project, Coonrod met his colleague and future wife Carol. They were married in 1988 and are living happily ever after.