Attorney General Eric Holder announced the move Friday during a discussion at the White House Forum on Women and the Economy. Holder, along with Hanson, spoke on a panel about violence against women and girls.
Hanson joined the Justice Department in May 2011 as principal deputy director in the Office on Violence Against Women. Before her DOJ appointment, Hanson served as chief program officer for Safe Horizon, a victim services agency based in New York. During her tenure there, she worked with the local legal community to improve its response to victims of domestic and sexual violence, in addition to establishing child advocacy centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She also previously worked as director of client services for the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which advocates for victims of violence in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Hanson’s 2009 nomination to head the DOJ’s Office of Victims of Crimes was withdrawn by the White House a year after it stalled in the Senate. The director of New York City Anti-Violence Project then penned a letter suggesting the inaction was due to anti-gay sentiment — a suggestion one Senate Judiciary Committee Republican called “ludicrous.”
Hanson earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College. She also earned a doctoral degree in social welfare from City University in New York.