Susan Hairston

Susan Hairston

Councilperson, Summit, New Jersey, and Experienced Philanthropy Executive

A civic leader and an accomplished Operations Executive in philanthropy, Susan Hairston, CEO of Susan Hairston Consulting LLC is committed to strengthening nonprofits that serve marginalized communities. Following a stellar career in the Foundation Grantmaking world, Susan draws on her decades of financial and operational management, strategic planning and governance experience to equip nonprofits to be Foundation-funding ready.

Susan is a trusted coalition builder and has organized events bringing together government officials and diverse organizations across the globe. She has been appointed to serve on several government and non-profit boards including Commissioner of the Union County Board of Taxation, the Center for Effective Philanthropy Advisory Board, Union County College’s Board of Governors, the Board of Education and Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Forum for Diversity. She made history in November, 2019 by being elected Summit, NJ’s first African American Councilmember.

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Susan earned a Master of Public Administration from Seton Hall University and is an Ascent Fellow from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. Before consulting, Susan directed Grants Management at the JPB Foundation, a $4 Billion asset national foundation that focuses on transformational initiatives that impact people in poverty, sustain the environment and enable medical research, after previously directing the Ford Foundation’s $450 million annual grant-making operations team.

Susan has received several awards including the Tri City NAACP Humanitarian and Community Service Award, Summit’s Good Scouts Award, MLK Keeper of the Dream Award.

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