Brian Hanson

Vice President, Studies

Areas of expertise: Policy & Politics


Brian is vice president of studies at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He oversees the Council’s research operations and hosts the weekly podcast, Deep Dish on Global Affairs

Prior to joining the Council, Brian taught courses on international relations and international development at Northwestern University for fifteen years.  At Northwestern, he built the Buffett Institute for Global Studies to address pressing global issues through collaborative research, public dialogue, and engaged scholarship. He also developed innovative and award-winning curricular and co-curricular international experiential learning programs to prepare students for lifelong leadership. Previously, Brian worked for John Deere on a range of business, legislative, and regulatory issues in the Washington, DC government affairs office and as a foreign policy advisor to Senator Alan Dixon (IL).  He also held positions with the United States Information Agency (USIA) and the Congressional Research Service.

Brian is chair of the board of the Stanley Foundation, which advances multilateral action to address critical peace and security issues. He also chairs the board of GlobeMed, which strengthens the movement for global health equity by empowering students and communities to work together to improve the health of people living in poverty around the world.  He is involved in international philanthropy through his service on the boards of the Holthues Trust and the Hanson Family Foundation.

Brian received his BA with high honors in political science from Grinnell College and conducted doctoral studies in political science at MIT.

In the News

Deep Dish: Myanmar Accused of Genocide against Rohingya at UN Court

Global Insight, November 14, 2019

Deep Dish: Hard Truths about Big Tech and the US Economy

Global Insight, November 7, 2019

Deep Dish: The Case for America to Promote Democracy Abroad

Global Insight, October 31, 2019

Deep Dish: Congress Has Abandoned Its War Powers. Here's What to Do About It.

Global Insight, October 24, 2019

Deep Dish: A Prize-Winning Peace in the Horn of Africa

Global Insight, October 17, 2019

Deep Dish: Has Brexit Finally Arrived? The Economist’s Zanny Minton Beddoes Explains.

Global Insight, October 9, 2019

Deep Dish: How to End the 'Forever War' in Afghanistan

Global Insight, October 3, 2019

Deep Dish: From Mao to Now—70 Years of the People's Republic of China

Global Insight, September 26, 2019

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