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Thomas Hanson

Thomas Hanson, Director of WestEd’s Health & Justice Program, conducts rigorous research on the effectiveness of programs, products, and practices intended to improve student outcomes.

Hanson is Principal Investigator of two large-scale randomized controlled trials funded by the National Institute of Justice: the Capturing Kids’ Hearts and No Bully System impact evaluations. The Capturing Kids’ Hearts trial investigates the impacts of a school climate program designed to enhance the relationships between and among school staff and students.

The No Bully System study examines the impacts of a bullying intervention program on the resolution of bullying incidents, bullying perpetration, and victimization.

Hanson also serves as lead methodologist for several studies examining the impacts of education interventions.

He has extensive experience in developing and validating survey instruments designed to measure school climate and other outcomes. For example, he conducts evidence-based research for the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS), a comprehensive youth risk behavior and resilience data collection service available to all California local education agencies. The CHKS is administered to approximately 600,000 students annually in California, and school districts and schools are provided with results to help guide programmatic decision-making.

In 2004, Hanson received the Annual Award for Exceptional Contribution to the WestEd Community for strengthening the rigor of WestEd’s research designs and methodologies and his embodiment of teamwork.

He received a BA in sociology from Old Dominion University and an MS and PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.