Susan A. Weiss is an accomplished and innovative leader in national philanthropy, public policy and child welfare. Her current clients include Casey Family Programs, Annie E. Casey Foundation and National American Indian Court Judges Association. Prior to consulting, she worked for 21 years for Casey Family Programs, building and funding strategic partnerships with national policy and judicial organizations to improve the nation’s foster care system. She led philanthropic investments to advance policy changes at the federal and state levels, creating national coalitions to advocate for policy improvements, developing judicial engagement strategies, and providing consultation for policy development and advocacy efforts in child welfare.
Among many accomplishments, she co-led a national effort to focus on youth aging out of foster care – including a PBS documentary/campaign, creation of the National Foster Care Coalition and National Foster Care Month and passage of Chafee legislation. She created the foundation’s partnerships with the NGA, National Conference of State Legislatures and the nation’s leading judicial/legal organizations (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, ABA Center on Children and the Law, and National Center for State Courts and subsequently the Three Branch Institute to drive specific areas of broad system change through these partners. She was instrumental in creating Courts Catalyzing Change to reduce disproportionality in the child welfare system. Through funding and partnership, she collaborated with the ABA to launch the Legal Center on Foster Care and Education and to advance quality representation for parents whose children have been removed from their care. She continues to serve on the Steering Committee for the National Alliance for Parent Representation.
She started her career as an attorney at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development with focus on consumer fraud and lead-based paint poisoning prevention followed by political work and policy advocacy at Consumer Federation of America and Georgetown University.
Susan has been a consistent advocate for children in her volunteer efforts as well. For the past 20 years, she served on the board of the Children’s Campaign Fund (Washington State), a non-partisan PAC dedicated to helping elect state legislators who champion children’s issues. A major proponent for volunteerism and national service, she has been a governor-appointed Commissioner for the Washington State Commission on Community and National Service for the past 8 years and served as chair for two years. Susan is a cum laude graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Catholic University Columbus School of Law. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. She lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington.