Brian Hanson is the Director of Programs Research and Operations of the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies and a faculty member in the Department of Political Science. He oversees the Center for Global Engagement at the Buffett Center and the Global Engagement Summer Institute, an innovative summer study abroad program at Northwestern to prepare undergraduates and guide them in collaborative international development projects with indigenous NGOs in Uganda, India, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and South Africa. Hanson teaches courses on international development, international political economy, globalization, and the changing role of the state in world politics. His current research is on the European trade politics and community-based approaches to global development.
In addition to his work at Northwestern, Hanson is also actively involved in fields of international philanthropy, international development and foreign affairs. He is chair of the board of GlobeMed, a national organization started at Northwestern, which seeks to build a new generation of leaders in global health by involving undergraduates in health projects in the developing world. He serves as an advisor to the Holthues Trust and on the board of the Hanson Family Foundation, which are grant giving organizations that support global development, human rights, poverty alleviation and environmental work around the world. He also is the former board chair of the Chicago Global Donors Network. Hanson is vice chair of the Stanley Foundation, which promotes multilateral approaches to address international problems such as securing nuclear materials, prevention of genocide and mass atrocities, and evolution and innovation in global governance. Previously, he has served as the foreign policy advisor to U.S. Senator Alan Dixon of IL, and as the number two in Washington DC government affairs office of John Deere and Company. Hanson received his BA from Grinnell College and did his doctoral studies in political science at MIT.