Jeremy Hanson ’95

2004 Young Alumni Award

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Jeremy Hanson is public policy director of the Minnesota Smoke-Free Coalition, where he oversees legislative and political advocacy related to tobacco prevention and second-hand smoke. His experiences on the Macalester speech and debate teams, and as student government president, were valuable for his career in public advocacy.

With Professor Adrienne Christiansen, he wrote an article on the rhetoric of AIDS, which was published in the Quarterly Journal of Speech. As a student intern and then an employee at Minnesota AIDS Project, he organized groups in 40 Minnesota communities and helped enact legislation addressing education, privacy and discrimination issues. In 1998 Hanson was a loaned federal policy analyst to the AIDS Action Council in Washington where he lobbied Congress on policy and worked with Sen. Paul Wellstone and Rep. Jim Ramstad to form a national coalition with substance abuse organizations. In four years at the Smoke-Free Coalition, Hanson and his staff have supported successful clean air initiatives in Duluth and Rochester, and he is now working with the city of Minneapolis to bring 100 percent clean indoor air to its public places.

Also active in electoral politics, Hanson was field director for the successful House and Senate campaigns of Minnesota State Sen. Scott Dibble, the first openly gay man to serve in the House. Hanson was co-chair of the Minnesota Stonewall Democrats (the GLBT caucus), is treasurer of Pro-Choice Minnesota and a board member of Progressive Minnesota.

"Witnessing Jeremy Hanson’s accomplishments as a student leader," John Jensen ’96 wrote, "I had no doubts that his post-collegiate life would be equally impressive. Jeremy has committed himself to his community through both his professional career and volunteer activities. His belief in positive change is solid and relentless."