Swanee Hunt is founder and president of Hunt Alternatives Fund, through which she has supported numerous endowments, grants, and local, national, and global initiatives. The Fund operates out of Cambridge, Massachusetts and is focused on strengthening youth arts organizations, supporting leaders of social movements, achieving political parity for women in high-level positions (in the US and globally), and increasing philanthropy.
Hunt is dedicated to fighting modern-day slavery and has been instrumental in drawing international and national attention to this issue, focusing particularly on the purchasers, or "johns," primarily through the Fund's Demand Abolition program.
She also chairs the Fund's Washington-based Institute for Inclusive Security which conducts research, training, and advocacy to integrate women into peace processes in more than 40 countries.
Hunt is the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where she teaches "Inclusive Security," exploring why women are systematically excluded from peace processes and the policy steps needed to rectify the problem. There, she founded, and for a decade directed, a research center: the Women and Public Policy Program. She has taught "The Choreography of Social Movements" at Harvard College, "Peacebuilding from the Ground Up" at Harvard Law School, and has lectured at Harvard's School of Education, the Divinity School, and the Business School.
She is currently core faculty at the Center for Public Leadership and a senior advisor to the working group on modern-day slavery at the Carr Center for Human Rights.
In addition to articles for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy Magazine and other journals, she has had three syndicated columns, authored op-eds for a dozen major newspapers, and been a guest commentator on myriad international and domestic networks, including CNN, MSNBC, PBS, Voice of America, and CBS Evening News. Duke University Press has published This Was Not Our War: Bosnian Women Reclaiming the Peace, which won the 2005 PEN/New England Award for non-fiction; her memoir, Half-Life of a Zealot; and this year's Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons for Global Security.
From 1993 to 1997, Hunt served as President Clinton's ambassador to Austria, where she hosted negotiations and international symposia focused on stabilizing the neighboring Balkan states. During that time, she led the US delegation to the EU conference on trafficking in Vienna.
A composer and photographer, she was married for 25 years to Charles Ansbacher, international conductor and founder of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra and the Free for All Concert Fund. Her world includes their three children and a menagerie of cat, parrot, horses, bison, and grandchildren.