Bea Hanson has devoted most of her professional life to addressing issues of gender-based violence both in New York City and nationally. She currently serves as Senior Advisor to the NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-based Violence connecting with national experts and model programs in other parts of the country for replication and adaptation in New York City. In her previous role in the NYC Mayor’s Office, she served as Executive Director of the NYC Domestic Violence Task Force, which was created to develop a comprehensive citywide strategy to reduce domestic violence, including 30+ new initiatives resulting in new prevention, intervention, and capacity-building programming.
Previously, she was the Principal Deputy Director and Acting Director of the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, during the Obama Administration. She was responsible for distributing nearly $500 million to communities across the country to prevent and respond to domestic and sexual violence. In this position, she successfully initiated significant federal policy changes regarding domestic violence and sexual assault, including modernizing the definition of rape in the federal Uniform Crime Report; providing national guidance to law enforcement on preventing, recognizing, and responding to gender bias in policing; implementing evidence-based strategies to prevent and reduce domestic violence homicides; and playing a leadership role in a White House-led effort to prevent and respond to sexual assault on college campuses. She supported the passage and oversaw the implementation of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, including new provisions that expanded tribal jurisdiction in domestic violence cases, civil rights protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and resources to respond to sexual assault.
Bea previously served as Chief Program Officer for Safe Horizon, a crime victim service organization in New York City that serves 350,000 victims annually. Before joining Safe Horizon, she was the Director of Client Services at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. She led programs for the nation’s largest crime victim assistance and advocacy organization serving the LGBT community.
Bea earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare from the City University in New York, a Master of Social Work degree from Hunter College School of Social Work in New York, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.