Susan joined the Center in 2017 and is responsible for advancing the Center’s federal policy and advocacy work, with a particular focus on executive and agency action. In her role, Susan works with reproductive rights, civil rights and health organizations to develop and implement administrative advocacy initiatives and strategies to ensure that the Executive Branch protects access to, and support for, reproductive health services for all.
Prior to joining the Center, Susan spent over four years as part of the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Education, holding a variety of roles, including most recently as Deputy Chief of Staff. While at the Department, Susan managed and coordinated complex and high-priority initiatives within the Department and across agencies, including running the process for all regulations promulgated under the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Susan’s work included launching a school-based health initiative with the Department of Health and Human Services, partnering with the Department of Housing and Urban Development on diversity in schools, and co-hosting with the White House’s Council on Women and Girls a conference titled Trauma-Informed Approaches in School: Supporting Girls of Color and Rethinking Discipline. Prior to joining the Office of the Secretary, Susan was Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary, and Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development. She held a broad portfolio, including assessment, accountability and civil rights, and was engaged on projects ranging from the Department’s policies on transgender students to ESEA flexibility.
From 2005 to 2009, Susan was a litigation associate at King and Spalding, where she cultivated a robust pro bono practice, including representing inmates in parole hearings and advising the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil and Human Rights on advocacy strategies relating to public education reform. From 2010 to 2012, Susan was a staff attorney at Advocates for Justice and Education, where she represented parents and students in school discipline and special education cases, advocated for reform of school discipline practices, and engaged in extensive community education and outreach.
Susan holds a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law, and a B.A. (with Honors) in English and Biology from Queen’s University in Canada.