William Hanson

William Hanson

William Hanson, chief of staff, joined the Skillman Foundation in January 2005. Hanson leads the Foundation’s Office of the President, and is the staff lead of the Foundation's external affairs and partnerships, as well as its marketing and external communications, including relations with the media. He edits A Rose for Detroit, the Foundation's blog, and is a former board member and officer of TAG, a national membership organization of foundations that promotes the understanding of how information and communications technology can help foundations advance their goals. He chairs the Communications Network-Michigan, an affiliate of the Communications Network. Prior to joining the Foundation, Hanson served as executive director of the Washtenaw Land Trust in Ann Arbor. He has also worked as a senior media relations manager for Washington-based public relations firm Jaffe Associates; as a communications officer for the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; and as a journalist at Automobile magazine, the Detroit Sunday Journal, the Detroit Free Press and the Ann Arbor News. Feature articles Hanson wrote about the nonprofit sectors in Russia and the United Kingdom for the Mott Foundation’s InFocus magazine were part of a publications portfolio that won a 2000 Wilmer Shields Rich Award for excellence in communications from the Council on Foundations. He helped the Skillman Foundation win its first Wilmer Shields Rich Awards – gold for its Annual Report and bronze for its Good Schools Guide – in 2008. The Foundation also won top prizes in 2009, 2010, and 2011. A longtime land conservation advocate, Hanson was named co-winner of the 2005 Virginia Prentice Award, for the preservation of wilderness and protection of public lands in Michigan, from the Mackinac Chapter of the Sierra Club. He won Conservationist Awards from the Sierra Club, Huron Valley Group, Ann Arbor, in 1999 and 2000. Hanson is a native of Bay City, and has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and communication from the University of Michigan. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Kathleen Hanson, and son Mick.