Student Stories

Phil Hansen

Providing Aid: Phil Hansen MNM '12

In 2014, the Minnesota Region of the American Red Cross responded to 609 emergency situations, providing humanitarian aid to individuals and families affected by fire, tornadoes, flooding, and other natural disasters.

Leading all of these efforts, with the support of a paid staff of 47 and more than 2,000 volunteers, is Regional CEO Phil Hansen MNM ’12.

“Our mission at the Red Cross is to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies,” said Hansen, who has personally responded to more than 200 events in his 30+ years as a Red Cross employee and volunteer. “We enter people’s lives at critical times and help them. It is fascinating and diverse work. It’s a real privilege.”

Meeting the demands of leading a nonprofit organization serving 5.2 million people across Minnesota and Western Wisconsin requires Hansen to continue learning and expanding his thinking.

“I need to be as strong and as sharp and as capable as I can be to live up to this brand and the standard of the Red Cross,” Hansen said. “I need to be effective and supportive of my team members. I need to be well trained.”

The Master in Nonprofit Management (MNM) at Hamline School of Business helped him broaden his skills and perspective while achieving his goal of earning his master’s degree–a necessity for his desired “retirement job,” teaching at a college level.

Hansen, who held high-level positions at the Red Cross in Madison, WI, La Crosse, WI, and Boston previously, chose to take one MNM class each semester, completing the program in about four years. The professors’ academic and field experience and his classmates’ perspective from various roles at many different nonprofits gave him the breadth and depth he sought in a program.

“There were materials that were applicable immediately,” he said. “I apply my degree daily, all the time.”

Find out more about the Master in Nonprofit Management program at the Hamline School of Business, or contact Hamline's Graduate Admission Office to learn more about joining the Hamline community.