Susan is a Principal Research Scientist and Director of Research at Partners for Our Children. Her work involves developing and evaluating programs and policies to improve the lives of children and families in the child welfare system. Susan is the principal investigator of Strive, a curriculum-based program designed to facilitate quality visits between parents and their children in foster care. She is a co-investigator of Connecting, a program for teens and their foster or relative caregivers aimed at preventing teens’ initiation of risky behaviors. Connecting has also developed a new module addressing the unique needs of LGBTQ2S teens in foster care. The module is available in the Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence training catalogue for caregivers.
Throughout Susan’s career, she has focused on the social determinants of health and the elimination of inequities in health and wellness. She served on the Washington State Racial Disproportionality Advisory Committee until the committee ended in 2018. Susan earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology from Yale University and a B.A. in psychology and biology from Antioch College.
She completed a National Institute of Mental Health-funded postdoctoral fellowship in Family Violence at The Children's Hospital in Boston, MA, where she also held a faculty appointment in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She holds affiliate faculty appointments within the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Social Work.