Dr. Dana Hunter Serves as Executive Director of Governor John Bel Edwards' Childrens Cabinet


I am transformative. Dana Hunter, executive director of governor's childrens cabinetBaton Rouge, La-- Dr. Dana R. Hunter, a Baton Rouge native, received her Bachelors of Science degree in biology from Southern University, and her Masters of Social Work and Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Work from LSU.

My LSU Experience

Dr. Hunter chose to study at LSU based on the university’s reputation for providing a high quality education and post-secondary learning experience. She believes that her time at LSU led her to be transformative. The work of the faculty was observed to be evidence based and data driven.

“Joining the LSU staff was an invaluable opportunity and experience, one which provided me various opportunities to conduct transformative research among vulnerable populations including youth in foster care and those who age out of foster care as well as underserved children and families,” said Dr. Hunter.

A couple of the School of Social Work’s faculty that stood out to her were Dr. Pamela Monroe and Dr. Catherine Lemieux. Dr. Hunter described them as genuine, empathic professionals from other races who are authentically concerned for minorities and who embody cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity. She believes that the love, care, and mentorship experience that the two provided has forever changed her life and influenced Dr. Hunter’s professional career.


An Ideal Career

As a student, Dr. Hunter was interested in micro practice. She believed that would be the path to change the trajectory for underserved families.

“I have since learned that macro practice has the greatest opportunities for lasting change and systems change which directly impacts vulnerable children and families,” said Dr. Hunter

The last several years, Dr. Hunter was active in positively impacting children and families. She has acted as a state leader in human trafficking efforts, serving as an external evaluator on a federal anti-human trafficking initiative and as an appointed member of the John Bel Edwards administration. Dr. Hunter has led the state’s efforts to eradicate human trafficking through the National Criminal Justice Training Center and conducting the state’s first Human Trafficking Awareness Symposium and Regional Summits. She also served as director of the Louisiana Children’s Trust Fund. She was able to award more than $700,000 in federal/state dollars to community-based agencies for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. She also led a “Look before You Lock” statewide campaign to reduce the number of child deaths related to being left in hot vehicles during the summer.

Presently, Dr. Hunter serves as Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards lead staff person for their “No Kid Hungry” Initiative to end childhood hunger in Louisiana. Dr. Hunter and her multi-disciplinary team of agency and policy leaders develop and implement the state’s evidence-informed plan to end childhood hunger.


About SSW

The LSU School of Social Work (SSW) aspires to be a leading school of social work, a vibrant center of intellectual development, a leader in promoting and supporting diverse communities, and an advocate for an integrated and inclusive model of social work, all within a learning environment that supports best educational practices. The SSW offers Child and Family Studies (CFS) and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) undergraduate degrees, MSW, online MSW, and PhD. SSW is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Information Studies, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

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