Director, Advocacy and External Engagement
Inspiration: “For there is always light, If only we’re brave enough to see it, If only we’re brave enough to be it.” — Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb
What working in this community means to me: “For me, serving in community is an opportunity to honor the people and places that shaped me into the person I am today.”
As Director of Advocacy and External Engagement, Susan supports Greater Twin Cities United Way’s systems change work. She leads United Way’s advocacy strategy, including engaging the organization’s nonprofit partners and stakeholders in the development of its annual policy and advocacy agenda. Susan also oversees United Way’s Community Connection Series, which brings together nonprofit partners, donors and stakeholders to explore new ideas and share learnings.
Prior to joining United Way, Susan served as the executive director of the WCA Foundation at The Minneapolis Foundation for eight years. Related roles included philanthropic leadership with Valspar, Pentair, Thrivent Charitable and Flint Hills Resources. Susan has also worked in advocacy-related direct service for women and children at The Family Partnership, Tubman and Free Arts MN. She also served on the Minnetonka City Council in the At-Large, seat B position, completing her term in January 2022.
An active community leader, Susan serves as a board member of the Grief Club of Minnesota, advisor to the Allina Health Family and Patient Experience Advisory Board, and member of the Minnetonka Coalition for Equitable Education. Previously, she served in volunteer roles for the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation Board, Allina Health Quality Council, and the PLACES Committee with Hennepin County, to identify public art along the new LRT green line train stations in the western suburbs.
Susan holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kansas and a M.A. in Nonprofit Management/Public Administration from Hamline University. In 2018, she was selected as a Humphrey School of Public Affairs Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota. Most recently, Susan was certified as an End-of-Life Doula to assist families with grief and loss. Susan currently lives in Minnetonka and is at her best with her family and amazing silver lab by her side.