Joe Hanel

Director of Communications

Joe Hanel

I Do This Work Because

I believe everyone deserves a chance to participate in the policies that shape their lives and their health. Our culture is overwhelmed with opinions that lack evidence and evidence that’s comprehensible only to experts. I’m proud that CHI bridges this gap and provides solid analysis in a way that’s easy to understand. We enable meaningful participation in policymaking by a broad array of people — the very essence of democracy.

Favorite Reading

Good books by Coloradans: The Windup Girl (Paolo Bacigalupi), Blackout and All Clear (Connie Willis), Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime (John Dunning)

Favorite Quote

"Poorly written reports, memos, announcements, and messages cost us time and money. They are blood clots in the body politic. The flow of information is blocked. Crucial problems go unsolved. Opportunities for reform and efficiency are buried." – Roy Peter Clark

Director Joe Hanel communicates CHI's work to a broad audience, including news reporters, legislators, health advocates, and voters. A member of the legislative team, he performs research and analysis on the intersection of politics and policy and the interaction of federal and state health policy. As the communications lead for CHI’s Inclusivity, Diversity, and Equity Alliance in 2022, he helped draft the organization's first strategic plan for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, including related supporting documents.

Joe has worked at CHI since 2014, following a 19-year career in Colorado newspapers. He served nine years as The Durango Herald’s Denver bureau chief, covering the legislature, federal courts, statewide campaigns, and natural resources issues. Joe also worked as a designer and copy editor for the Rocky Mountain News, the Longmont Daily Times-Call and the Greeley Tribune.

Joe graduated from Bear Creek High School in Lakewood. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Joe and his wife, Anna, live in Lakewood with two children, three goats, and a flock of chickens.

A Zoom screen showing Joe moderating a panel with Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Rep. Judy Amabile.
Joe Hanel moderates a panel with Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet (upper right) and Rep. Judy Amabile (center) during the May 2023 Eggheads webinar.

Sample Projects:

Skills: Strategic communications, presentations, public policy research and analysis

Focus Areas:

  • Legislative Services
  • Communications
  • Health Coverage and Access

Contact Joe