photo of Heather Hahn
Heather Hahn
Associate Vice President
Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • Heather Hahn is associate vice president for management in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute. She is a national expert on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) with two decades of experience conducting nonpartisan research on policies affecting the well-being of children and families, including TANF, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), child care subsidies, child support, and other supports for families with low incomes. She coleads Urban’s From Safety Net to Solid Ground initiative, providing timely and rigorous analyses of state and federal policy changes, and the Kids’ Share project, examining federal spending and tax expenditures on children. Hahn also co-led the Work Support Strategies evaluation of state efforts to modernize families’ access to nutrition assistance, child care, and Medicaid. She has extensive experience leading projects, designing and conducting case studies, and listening to the people administering and participating in programs supporting families experiencing poverty. Hahn has authored dozens of reports and has considerable experience disseminating research to diverse audiences. She has testified before Congress and has been interviewed and quoted by major print and radio media, including NPR, the Washington Post, the New York TimesNational Review, the Atlantic, and USA Today.

    Before joining Urban, Hahn was an assistant director for education, workforce, and income security issues at the US Government Accountability Office. She received an MPP from Duke University and a PhD in political science from Stanford University.

    Hahn is serving as an expert witness in Wright v. Family Support Division, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, regarding the counterproductivity of using driver’s license suspension to coerce child support payments.

    Research Areas
    Economic mobility and inequality
    Wealth and financial well-being
    Social safety net
    Children and youth
    Kids in context
    Evidence-based policy capacity
    From Safety Net to Solid Ground
    Families with low incomes
    Children's budget
    Child support
    Assistance for women and children
    Work supports
    Welfare and safety net programs
    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    Child care

    Outside Affiliations
    Equal Justice Under Law
    Expert witness

    Urban experts are permitted and empowered to work and affiliate with outside organizations, whether serving on boards, volunteering their time, or providing advice and counsel. And Urban welcomes visiting scholars, nonresident or affiliated fellows who work for other organizations. These outside affiliations enrich our perspectives and our learning environment. We also require all paid and unpaid experts to disclose their affiliations to Urban leadership and follow rules governing their engagement to ensure transparency for audiences and independence of experts.