Susan brings 20 years of practical experience in direct service, community organizing, nonprofit leadership, and equitable food systems development to the Wallace Center, and has dedicated her life’s work to building relationships of solidarity across communities, nourishing leadership, facilitating collaboration, and realizing food sovereignty. She was the founding Executive Director of the Noyo Food Forest, a community-based organization in rural northern California, and launched the organization’s unique on-site farm to school and agricultural training programs at Fort Bragg High School. She then served as a regional Farm to Fork Manager for North Coast Opportunities, where she spearheaded countywide farm to school initiatives, helped launch the Mendocino County Food Policy Council, and led the planning and design for the Mendo Lake Food Hub.
Susan returned to her home state of Louisiana to obtain her MS in International Development from Tulane University Law School, which led her to work briefly for the United Nations World Food Programme before joining the Wallace Center in 2016. She is honored to lead the Wallace Center’s Food Systems Leadership team and portfolio of work supporting the brilliant community leaders, organizations, and social enterprises across the U.S. that are using good food as a tool for systems change.
Outside of work, Susan eagerly seeks out music, food, family, and friends (preferably together), and is almost always plotting her next tropical surf adventure. She’s a proud resident of her favorite neighborhood in New Orleans, the historic Tremé, where she enjoys daily walks around town with her sidekick Roux.