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: What the US Can Learn from the Global Responses to COVID-19

Global Insight, March 26, 2020

Deep Dish: Think You Know the US Midwest in 2020? Take Another Look.

Global Insight, March 12, 2020

Deep Dish: Hard Truths about the US Role in Yemen's War

Global Insight, March 5, 2020

Deep Dish: From ISIS to Assad, the Trump Administration’s Plan in Syria

Global Insight, February 27, 2020

Deep Dish: Alliances Secured America’s Past. Will They Secure Its Future?

Global Insight, February 20, 2020

Deep Dish: One Woman Is Standing Up to Murder and Violence in El Salvador

Global Insight, February 13, 2020

Deep Dish: Cities, Consumers, and Companies Are the Secret of Sustainability

Global Insight, February 5, 2020

Deep Dish: Should US Shrink the Pentagon to Increase National Security?

Global Insight, January 30, 2020

Past Event Multimedia