Julie Kunen’s passion for sustainability studies began with her PhD studies in archaeology, where she focused on agricultural practices of the ancient Maya. Following completion of her degree she went on to hold roles in academia, government, non-profit, freelance journalism, and business consulting before joining Oatly at the end of 2020.
Dr. Kunen served as the forestry and natural resources advisor for Latin America at the US Agency for International Development, and then stepped into dual roles as chief of staff of the policy bureau and senior environmental policy advisor, leading development of USAID’s first climate change and development strategy.
She later moved into executive management of conservation portfolios as Vice President of the Americas for the Wildlife Conservation Society, a major international non-profit, where she led efforts to promote conservation through cuisine, including partnerships with renowned Latin American chefs. After leaving WCS, she founded Passiflora Consulting, a business consultancy working with chefs, restaurants, travel companies, and government agencies to promote sustainable gastronomy.
Before joining Oatly, Dr. Kunen spent 4 months during the COVID-19 pandemic working as a farmhand on an organic vegetable farm in northern Montana. She is also a writer on topics at the nexus of food, culture, and the environment for independent food and travel-focused media outlets. Her most recent articles were about innovations in food studies programs and the indigenous roots of regenerative agriculture.
Two Bear Farm (Whitefish, MT)
“Getting Dirt Under My Fingernails” by Julie Kunen, Montana Women magazine
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
Fork and Spoon- pay-as-you-can restaurant in Bozeman, MT
Passion’s fruit - Julie’s website
Julie’s recommended books:
Lentil Underground (Liz Carlisle)
Love, Life, and Elephants (Dame Daphne Sheldrick)
The Wolf Hall Trilogy (Hilary Mantel)