Ashley Lukens is the Director of the Hawaii Center for Food Safety. Her work focuses on issues of human and environmental health as they relate to the food system. She has her PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where her research examined community-led efforts to develop culturally appropriate strategies for food system transformation. During grad school, she was also a Sea Grant Graduate Trainee, working at Kakoo Oiwi to document the impact of shifting land use practices in He‘eia wetland and the community-led efforts develop culturally appropriate ecosystem management strategies.
Originally from Houston, TX Ashley attended Vassar College where she graduated with a B.A. in women studies and economics. From 2008 until 2012, Ashley was co-owner of Baby Awearness, a natural parenting and eco-friendly baby store in Mānoa Valley, a labor of love born from her passion to inform and empower mothers to make choices that are good for their children, their communities and the Earth.
Ashley is a founding member and the former Vice President of the Hawaii Food Policy Council, a member of the Sierra Club’s National Food Policy Task Force, and continues to teach Political Science courses at UH Manoa and UH West Oahu. Ashley is also the mother to 7 year old daughter.