First in Future: Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation Board President and Co-Founder Nation Hahn


Today’s show starts in an unusual place. With a question: why do bad things happen to good people? The writers of the Bible were probably the first to try to answer that question on paper – in the story of Job.  In 1981, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote a best-selling book about the question. He called it, not surprisingly, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” Others have followed. In 2003, I wrote my own play on the subject. My conclusion was probably much the same as others. We don’t—and we can’t—know why these things happen.  But an equally important question for all of us is what do we do AFTER bad things happen? What do we do NEXT?  Today’s guest, Nation Hahn, faced down the worst kind of tragedy. In today’s episode, he talks about how he is getting through that pain, and finding hope for our state’s future.

Nation Hahn is the Board President and Co-Founder of the Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation, the Chief Growth Officer for, and Digital Director for Blueprint for Athletes.

This installment of First in Future is part of a special TV series produced in collaboration with UNC-TV, and recorded in UNC-TV’s Legislative Studio in downtown Raleigh. Taped segments will air on the North Carolina Channel. Visit for specific air dates. Watch the UNC-TV broadcast version via online streaming here!


“One of the things I had to choose proactively to do was to be more hopeful, be more optimistic.”

“Thinking about how you proceed forward in your grief…you could choose to not love again, to choose to sort of wrap your heart up, and to try to build walls. But the truth is that’s another loss in and of itself as opposed to trying to open up and live life fully.”

Book recommendations:  The Revolution of Robert Kennedy by John Bohrer; The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty

What key issues should we be working on within the next couple of years to make North Carolina a better place?   Opioid Addiction, Foster Care, Ageing Population, Overhauling Education System (in the face of automation), Access to Education

What do we need to focus on to be ready for the next 20 years?  Education in rural areas.

Listen to the podcast: