Lori Hansen’s commitment to social justice is grounded in her education as a social worker. Hansen received her M.S.W. in social policy and administration from the University of Michigan. A founding member of NASI, Hansen is currently a consultant on Social Security and Social Policy, a career dedicated to advocating for social insurance and antipoverty programs.
With Andrea Campbell and Jake Jones, Hansen is serving as co-chair of NASI’s 26th annual policy conference, “Strengthening the Web of Financial and Retirement Security for Today's Working Americans” on January 29 – 30, 2014.
Hansen served as a member on the Social Security Advisory Board (1994-2000) which advises the Commissioner of Social Security and the Congress on Social Security policy and administration. She also served as Policy Director for Social Security Works, a non-profit dedicated to strengthening Social Security. She served as a member of the Retirement Security Policy Committee for the Obama '08 campaign and as Advisor to the Obama Transition Team for Social Security. Hansen has also served as a consulting Policy Analyst for the National Academy of Social Insurance. Previously, she was a Policy and Legislative Analyst for the Study Group on Social Security.
She served as technical assistant to Robert M. Ball, former Social Security Commissioner, during his tenure as a member of the 1983 National Commission on Social Security Reform and she was also Special Assistant to the President and the Director of Governmental Affairs at the Legal Services Corporation.
According to colleague and friend, Nancy Altman, co-director of Social Security Works and co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition and campaign, “Lori Hansen has spent her long and illustrious career fighting to protect and improve Social Security for all working Americans. She is among the top experts of the program in the country. Moreover, she is unsurpassed in her political acumen and judgment about how to translate Social Security’s widespread support into political action. Though few in the nation know her name, all who care about the economic security of the American people owe her a debt of gratitude.”
Hansen’s professional experiences also include tenures as assistant to the President and Director of Governmental Affairs of the Legal Services Corporation, and Senior Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources Subcommittee on Employment, Poverty and Migratory Labor. She served as legislative assistant to Senator Gaylord Nelson, then Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, and on the professional staff of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.
For over 35 years, Hansen has advocated policy intended to strengthen and enhance social security. Lori and her husband, former senator Don Riegle (D-MI), have 2 daughters; Ashley, a graduate of Wellesley, and a second-year grad student at the USC Annenberg School, and Allison, a senior at Scripps College in Claremont, CA.