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Jim Hansen’s father was on a Rotary Fellowship in 1955 when he met an actress from England. They were married and started a family in Idaho Falls. Jim was the third of their seven children. One might say Jim not only values the concept of Rotary, his conception depended upon it.


For the first 9 years of his life, Jim lived in Idaho Falls. For the next 9, he lived in Arlington, Virginia. He earned a BA at the College of William & Mary in 1982 and a JD at the University of Idaho’s College of Law in 1985. He made Boise his home and in January 1989 joined the Rotary Club of Boise-Sunrise. He had the honor of serving as club president during Rotary’s centennial year 2004-05.


In July of 1990, he married the love of his life, Joan Cartan-Hansen, a television writer, reporter and producer with Idaho Public Television. He has been a Public TV pledge fund member ever since.


Jim’s professional life has taken many forms. He practiced law for 6 years, served three terms in the Idaho State House of Representatives and directed Boise State University’s Office of Conflict Management. In 1995, he founded United Vision for Idaho, a coalition of grassroots organizations working for social and economic justice. He served as its executive director for 13 years.


After a unique campaign for U.S. Congress, Jim was tapped to be the Executive Director of the Idaho Democratic Party where he served for 3 years. Since then he has worked as an independent consultant and professional coach for several non-profit organizations and their leaders. In 2012, he was elected to the first of three terms as a Commissioner of the Ada County Highway District.

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