photo of Heather Hahn
Heather Hahn
Associate Vice President
Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population

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