Susan Wefald, Certified Coach and Consultant

“I grew up in suburban Maryland during a time when there were very few other immigrant or Asian American families, and my parents’ biracial marriage was illegal in our neighboring state of Virginia.  I first became active in junior high school organizing and marching against the Vietnam war, and also did some work around the farmworkers’ grape and lettuce boycotts. My identity as a social justice activist was solidified when I refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance and was forced to have homeroom in the principal’s office for the remainder of the year – and learned to hold my head up high.”

Susan brings more than thirty years of social justice nonprofit experience to her coaching and consulting practice. She works with individual leaders, teams and organizations, both staff and boards, to strengthen their effectiveness and increase their capacity to carry out their vision for change.

Susan has a coaching certification from Columbia University. Her coaching and consulting practice is informed by several decades of nonprofit management experience, particularly at the executive director and management team level.  She has extensive experience in leading teams, supervising staff, developing and implementing theory of change and strategic plans, overseeing human resources, administrative and financial management functions, institutional and individual fundraising, program management, and working with boards.

Susan held several positions at the Ms. Foundation for Women including executive vice president & COO and vice president for programs. She served as the executive director of the Discount Foundation and was the staff director and lead organizer of the Naugatuck Valley Project. She also was the assistant director of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board. Through these various roles, she developed a deep understanding of the adaptive leadership qualities and management skills and knowledge required to lead organizations effectively.  She also has significant experience in work/life integration and work/career transitions. She led the process of designing and implementing flexible workplace policies, and was a single mother of twins for her children’s first twelve years (they are now in college) while working full time. Twice she has transitioned from organizations after a long tenure and has changed fields several times.

Susan currently serve on five boards: Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice; the Highlander Research and Education Center; the Labor Institute; Marlboro College and Political Research Associates. Her board service also informs her understanding of organizations and leadership.

Susan lives in Brooklyn, NY and Portland, ME

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