Susan Burgess-Lent is Executive Director of Women’s Centers International, a non-profit that creates safe spaces where women affected by conflict and poverty can access resources to build the lives they want.
An interview with Susan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEtKiOyXMdo
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Susan moved to San Francisco after a stint at the University of Michigan. Her first job at KQED-TV marked the beginning of a twenty-year career in television news on both coasts, working for Voice of America TV, NBC4 News, CBS News, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, KRON-TV, WTTG-TV, and WJLA-TV.
Susan was drawn international relief and development work during the Rwanda genocide. In 1994 – 96, she served with the American Red Cross International Services, providing administrative and logistical support for relief workers in Rwanda, Bosnia and Central Asia. She traveled to Rwanda in 1998. It was her first trip to the continent and the genesis of her humanitarian field work.
From 2006 through 2011, she completed six missions to Darfur, Sudan as Program Director with Darfur Peace and Development Organization (DPDO). At Kassab IDP Camp in North Darfur, she opened a Center to support literacy and livelihoods among displaced women. Kassab Women’s Center became the model for WCI’s work.
Susan collaborated with a team in Nairobi in October 2012 to create Baraka Women’s Center, that has served over 500 members with training and support programs. The first U.S.-based Center in California Oakland Women’s Center, opened in May 2015 … and closed in April 2018 after service to nearly 250 women.
An experienced public speaker, Susan has made numerous presentations to civic, student, religious and professional groups about ways of meeting the urgent needs of women affected by conflict, migration, and poverty.