Andrew Leon Hanna named Knight-Hennessy Scholar

Andrew Leon Hanna ’19 has been selected to study at Stanford University next year as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. The international graduate-level program provides full funding for students as they pursue studies at Stanford University.

Hanna will use his scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in business administration at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He aspires to help ensure that all vulnerable people and families, especially in the American South, are treated with equal dignity and provided meaningful socioeconomic opportunity.

Established in 2016, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program funds graduate studies ranging from medicine to law to doctoral programs as well as joint- and dual-degrees. The 69 students selected as part of the 2019 cohort were chosen from 4,424 applicants and represent 20 countries.

A first-generation Egyptian-American, Hanna is the co-founder and CEO of DreamxAmerica, a social venture that joins filmmaking and impact investing to support immigrant entrepreneurs. He is writing a book on refugee-entrepreneurs in camps and host cities, “25 Million Sparks,” that was honored with the 2018 Financial Times Bracken Bower Prize for the best business book proposal by an author under 35.

At HLS, Hanna is a Harvard Defenders student attorney, an editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a recipient of the Oberman Prize for Law & Social Change.

“The Knight-Hennessy Scholarship is a perfect fit for Andrew Leon Hanna, whose work supports entrepreneurship and innovation by recent immigrants by telling their stories and investing in them,” said former Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow, who served as a mentor to Hanna. “His business school studies will build on his inspiring work in law school, college, and community leadership.”

Previously, Hanna directed Generation—a global youth employment non-profit founded by McKinsey & Co. — in Florida and Texas, was a McKinsey consultant, founded the national education initiative IGNITE Peer Mentoring, represented the U.S. as a State Department delegate to the UNESCO Youth Forum and as a representative to U.N. High Level Panel meetings, and served in the White House and Justice Department.

Hanna graduated with highest distinction in public policy from Duke University, where he was senior class president, a Robertson Scholar, a Chapel Scholar, and recipient of the Terry Sanford Leadership Award.

This year’s Hennessy Scholars will pursue graduate degrees across all seven of Stanford’s schools, with 27 percent earning degrees in humanities and sciences; 20 percent in medicine; 19 percent in engineering; 17 percent in law; 12 percent in business; 4 percent in education; and 1 percent in earth, energy and environmental sciences.

The program is designed to prepare students to take leadership roles in finding creative solutions to complex global issues.