The Brennan Center mourns the passing of Larry Hansen – Vice President of the Joyce Foundation in Chicago since 1994, and a one-of-a-kind leader in the movement to make American democracy work better. Larry enjoyed a long and distinguished career. Among his many accomplishments, he designed and built the Midwest Democracy Network, a coalition of state-based reform groups in Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota with which the Brennan Center works closely. In his determination to improve our democracy, he continually played a leadership role in the philanthropic community to envision and then support innovative and necessary reforms, including campaign finance reform and more recently, redistricting. Larry was a dear friend to many at the Brennan Center, and a strong and steadfast supporter of our work.
“In every conversation I had with Larry he would make me both laugh out loud and think seriously,” remembers Erika Wood, deputy director of the Democracy Program. “Larry was deeply committed to making sure our government worked for and represented all Americans. At the same time, he always made time to enjoy good conversation and company, and of course a good joke. He was a tremendous advocate and a very special colleague. It was an honor and a pleasure to work closely with him over the years."
Larry was an inspiration to all of us at the Brennan Center. His vision, leadership, wisdom and sense of humor will be greatly missed.