Hanson first made the acquaintance of Picard, upon witnessing him win the Starfleet Academy marathon in April of 2323, the only freshman to do so. Extremely impressed, he made a point of getting to know Picard, later commenting "I've never known anyone with more drive, determination, or more courage, than Jean-Luc Picard."
Years later, after Picard and his crew learned of the threat posed by the Borg, Hanson oversaw efforts to develop defensive strategies and new technologies with which to combat the extremely powerful race. Their efforts met with frustration, however, in that the limited information regarding the Borg led to conflicting ideas as how best to proceed. This situation was rectified, however, with the arrival of Lieutenant Commander Shelby, who was successfully able to put the project on a productive track. Thereafter, Hanson worked extremely closely with Shelby, spearheading all efforts to develop defenses against the Borg.
In 2366, subsequent to the destruction of the New Providence colony on Jouret IV, Hanson and Shelby traveled to the Enterprise-D together to consult with Picard and his crew, Hanson admitting that, if the Borg were responsible, they were woefully unprepared to deal with them. After confirming that the Borg were, indeed, responsible for the destruction of the colony, Hanson returned to Starbase 324 to discuss strategy with Starfleet Command, leaving Shelby behind on the Enterprise-D to continue tactical preparations.
After the Enterprise-D's engagement of a Borg cube, and Picard's capture and assimilation, Hanson mobilized a fleet of forty starships to intercept the cube at Wolf 359, in an attempt to prevent them from reaching Earth. When Shelby noted that the Borg would be prepared for the Federation's assault with Picard's assistance, Hanson bluntly informed her that Picard would never willingly 'assist' the Borg, issuing Riker with a battlefield commission to captain and stating that Picard should be considered a casualty of war. Hanson was killed in the subsequent battle as the Borg easily overwhelmed the fleet, destroying his ship and thirty-eight others. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds", "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II", "The Drumhead")
Hanson was played by actor George Murdock.
He was described in the script for "The Best of Both Worlds" as "fifties, high ranking, hard driving". 
Hanson was to be mentioned by Benjamin Sisko in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine pilot episode "Emissary" as having "deployed the USS Gage, the USS Kyushu, and the USS Melbourne". The scene was deleted or not filmed, although the reference remained in the novelization.