Thomas M. Hunter
ARC Executive Director
Tom Hunter became the executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in July 1995. ARC is a federal-state partnership established in 1965 to support the economic and community development of the 13-state Appalachian Region. Grassroots participation is provided through local development districts—multi-county organizations with boards made up of elected officials, businesspeople, and other local leaders.
As executive director, Hunter directs a 50-member staff in implementing the Commission's policies. He oversees a wide range of programs in areas including education and workforce training, highway construction, water and sewer system construction, leadership development, small business start-ups and expansions, energy, and health. He administers the distribution of hundreds of grants for local development and has led the implementation of major regional initiatives in energy, telecommunications, export trade, civic leadership, and entrepreneurship. In addition, he has programmatic oversight of the 3,080-mile Appalachian Development Highway System.
Before coming to ARC, Hunter served as manager of the Community Growth and Jobs Department of the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville, Tennessee. In that capacity, he headed a program with a mission similar to that of the Commission—economic and community development programs targeted to all sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, business, and agriculture.
A native of Lebanon, Tennessee, Hunter attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he received a bachelor of science degree in psychology and sociology in 1972 and a master of science degree in regional, urban, and environmental planning in 1975.
Hunter and his wife, Phyllis, reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia.