John E. Hansan, Ph.D. (1930 – 2019) was a career social worker with a doctorate in social welfare policy from Brandeis University. He worked for 45 years in human service programs at the local, state, and national levels. His early career was staffing and directing settlement houses in Kansas City, MO, Philadelphia, PA, Peoria, IL and Cincinnati, OH. While in Cincinnati, Hansan helped organize the city’s 500-person delegation to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1964, he was selected to be one of the nation’s first directors of a community action program, the Community Action Commission of the Cincinnati Area. In 1971, Hansan was appointed by Ohio Governor John J. Gilligan to be director of the Ohio Department of Public Welfare; and, two years later, he was appointed Chief of Staff to Governor Gilligan. In 2019, Hansan was selected for induction into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
On the national level, Hansan served as director of government affairs for the American Public Welfare Assn., Executive Director of the National Conference on Social Welfare, and Interim Director of the National Association of Social Workers. He was the author or co-editor of four books, including: Welfare Reform 1996-2000: Is There a Safety Net? (Auburn House, 1999); Personal Assistance: The Future of Home Care (Johns Hopkins Press, 1998); The National Government and Social Welfare: What Should Be the Role of the Federal Government (Auburn House, 1997); 365 Ways…Retirees’ Resource Guide for Productive Lifestyles (Greenwood Press, 1996). Hansan’s papers are held by the Social Welfare History Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries.