Short Bio: Hahrie Han is the Anton Vonk Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She specializes in the study of civic and political participation, collective action, social change, and democratic revitalization, particularly as it pertains to social policy and environmental issues. She has published three books: How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century, Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America, and Moved to Action: Motivation, Participation, and Inequality in American Politics. Her award-winning work has been published in the American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, and numerous other outlets.
Long Bio: Hahrie Han is the Anton Vonk Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 2005-2015, she was an Associate Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College and a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Harvard University from 2009-2011. She specializes in the study of civic and political participation, collective action, social change, and democratic revitalization, focusing particularly on the role that civic associations play in mobilizing participation in politics and building power for social and political change. Her research focuses particularly on social policy and environmental issues.
Her recently published book, How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century (Oxford University Press 2014) examines the strategies that the most effective civic associations use to engage activists and develop leaders in health and environmental politics. Another book, Groundbreakers: How Obama's 2.2 Million Volunteers Transformed Campaigning in America (co-authored with Elizabeth McKenna, Oxford Univ. Press 2014) describes the strategies the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaign used to engage so many grassroots activists in communities across America. Her first book, Moved to Action: Motivation, Participation, and Inequality in American Politics (Stanford University Press, 2009) examined the ways in which people become motivated to participate in politics, looking particularly at means of engaging underprivileged populations in political action. Hahrie’s work on participation, movement-building, civic associations, primary elections, and congressional polarization has been published in outlets including American Political Science Review, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, Perspectives on Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Behavior, and elsewhere. Her work was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Academic Publication on Membership Organizations Award by the Institute for Nonprofit Research, Education, and Engagement.
Hahrie has also been involved in numerous efforts to make academic work relevant to the world of practice, including (most recently) serving as the Co-founder and Co-Director of the Project on Public Leadership and Action at Wellesley College, the Co-Chair of the Civic Engagement Working Group at the Scholars Strategy Network, the Chair of the Leading Change Research Network, and on the steering committee of the Gettysburg Project. Through her research, she consults and works with a wide range of civic and political organizations interested in organizing, movement-building, questions about building power for social change. These organizations include the Ford Foundation, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Mothers Out Front, the PICO National Network, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative, MoveOn.org, Reform Immigration for America Now, the National Korean-American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), ReThink Health, Doctors for America, the Counties Manukau District Health Board in Auckland, New Zealand, the Healthcare Improvement Unit at Cardiff University in Wales, America's HealthTogether, and others. In all of this work, she seeks to develop the leadership of younger scholars and practitioners, especially women and people of color.
She also acted as co-convenor of a Policy Advisory Committee for the 2008 Obama campaign and served as Chair of the Advisory Committee to the EAC Agency Review Team on the Obama-Biden Transition Team and also as National Issues and Policy Advisor to Senator Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign in 1999-2000. She received her Ph.D. in American Politics from Stanford University in 2005 and her B.A. in American History and Literature from Harvard University in 1997. She was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow from 2002-2005 and received Stanford University’s Centennial Teaching Award in 2002 and Wellesley College’s Apgar Award for Innovative Teaching in 2006. She is the daughter of Korean immigrants, grew up in Houston, Texas, and now lives in Santa Barbara, CA.