Duncan Hunter

Like most high school seniors, Duncan D. Hunter (’01, information systems) couldn’t foresee where his career path would ultimately lead, but he did know one thing: He would graduate from San Diego State University (SDSU). “SDSU was close to home and a great university,” he said. “It was the only school where I applied.”

It was during his time at SDSU that he realized a passion for computers and technology. He capitalized on his love of the digital world by establishing himself as a website, systems and database consultant. Eventually, his interest in technology and knack for business led him to major in information systems and he earned his degree from SDSU in 2001.

“You could say my first ‘real’ job after graduating from SDSU was a business analyst at a tech company in San Diego,” recalled Hunter. “I did everything from financial analysis to database management and migration.”

But that job didn’t last long.

“I quit that job the day after terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 and joined the Marine Corps,” said Hunter.

Between 2002 and 2007, he served three combat missions – two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. His experience in the Marine Corp gave him a perspective that changed the course of his life.

"I realized that by running for and winning a seat in the U.S. Congress, I was able to keep serving and fighting for my nation."

In 2008, a year after his final tour of duty, his father, Duncan L. Hunter, announced he would not run for re-election for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives (California, district 52) and the younger Hunter decided to make a run for the position.

Duncan Hunter in uniform in front of a bombed structure

“I was fresh out of the military and had a perspective that no other lawmaker had at that time,” said Hunter. “I had a grasp on warfare and foreign policy from a “boots on the ground” viewpoint that was unique. I realized that by running for and winning a seat in the U.S. Congress, I was able to keep serving and fighting for my nation.”

Hunter, a Republican, won the seat by a wide margin over his opponent and took office in January, 2009. After California’s Congressional district lines were redrawn in 2012, Hunter was elected to fill the seat in the 50th district, which is the seat he occupies today.

As the congressman reflects on his days as a student in SDSU’s College of Business he says his most important takeaway was “learning to find the point where your love and interest in a subject matter meet up with the practicality of making a living. Sometimes it’s hard to find that happy medium. But if you keep an open mind, you may find that your talents could lead you in a direction you never expected to go: that place where you can make a living and be happy going to work every day.”