Interview with Thomas Hunter, August 8, 2017

Project: Tennessee Valley Authority Retiree Association Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Thomas Hunter, a former TVA employee and the Executive Director of the Appalachian Regional Commission from 1994-2014, begins the interview by discussing how he was hired at the TVA. Hunter's first job in Regional Planning is detailed, including the development of mitigation plans for communities where nuclear power plants were being built. Reasons for TVA's decision to cancel its nuclear energy initiative are listed. Other sources of energy are detailed. Additionally, the interviewee's work as the Director of the Special Opportunity Counties Program for rural economic development is examined. The specifics of the Special Opportunity Counties Program are considered. Hunter recalls the Triana, Alabama environmental disaster, in which the Special Opportunity Counties Program contributed to solutions to mitigate the situation. Other Special Opportunity Counties Program projects are explored, including one surrounding tourism in North Georgia, and an attempt to create a local natural gas pipeline in North Tennessee. The level of cooperation allowed between TVA offices in comparison to other federal agencies is considered. A Special Opportunity Counties Project to promote tourism with a recovered Civil War ship is examined. Hunter describes his promotion to the Chief of the Community Growth and Jobs branch, and the programs that he oversaw. Initiatives in this branch during Hunter's tenure as branch chief are listed. For instance, programs such as Small Business Development Week, and the River Heritage Project. Hunter then shares his most vivid memories of working at the TVA, focusing on his work on the Triana, Alabama environmental disaster. Hunter explains what prompted his departure from the TVA. How the original mission of TVA could have assisted in fixing modern problems is addressed. To conclude the interview, Hunter characterizes his time spent as the Executive Director of the Appalachian Regional Commission and how the TVA prepared him for success in that role.

Interview Accession

2019oh1668_tvara0012

Interviewee Name

Thomas Hunter

Interviewer Name

Philip Mummert

Interview Date

2017-08-08

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Hunter, Thomas Interview by Philip Mummert. 08 Aug. 2017. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Hunter, T. (2017, August 08). Interview by P. Mummert. Tennessee Valley Authority Retiree Association Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Hunter, Thomas, interview by Philip Mummert. August 08, 2017, Tennessee Valley Authority Retiree Association Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7ngbf1435br