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Susan Markham is the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. In that role, she works to improve the lives of people around the world by advancing equality between females and males, and empowering women and girls to participate fully in and benefit from development of their societies. USAID recognizes that promoting gender equality and female empowerment is fundamental to our mission to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies while advancing our security and prosperity. As Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Susan works with senior leadership and mission staff to fully integrate gender equality and female empowerment into USAID’s policies, programs and strategies.
Susan comes to USAID with an extensive background in both domestic and international women’s political empowerment. She most recently served as Director of Women’s Political Participation at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). In this senior leadership role she supported the aspirations of women around the world to be equal and active partners in shaping and leading democratic societies. NDI’s programs have created enabling environments for women to women advocate on matters of policy, run for political office, govern effectively, and participate meaningfully in every facet of civic and political life.
Susan previously directed EMILY’s List Campaign Corp program and later the Political Opportunity Program to recruit, train and support women candidates running for statewide, legislative and local offices in 35 U.S. states. She served as Director of Senate Services at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and managed several statewide campaigns. Susan has also worked as a senior strategist at the Campaign Workshop, where she consulted for the Child Nutrition Initiative, California List and the New Organizing Institute. Susan started her career as a political fundraiser, serving as the finance director for the Ohio Democratic Party, and executive director of Participation 2000 (a multi-candidate political action committee).
Susan has a B.A. in political science and international studies from the Ohio State University. She received her master's degree in public policy and women's studies from George Washington University.
Susan’s work has taken her to over 50 countries around the world where she has conducted trainings, facilitated working groups, engaged political parties and civil society organizations and addressed numerous conferences on the importance and best practices of increasing women’s involvement in the political process.
Last updated: August 01, 2016