Susan Smith

Susan Smith is a Project Manager for the City of San Francisco Controller’s Office in its City Performance Unit, providing high level consulting services, technical assistance and analysis to various City departmental leaders and the Mayor’s Office in an effort to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of public services.

Prior to her work with the City of San Francisco, Susan was Managing Director at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, where she oversaw the Insight Center’s national and statewide efforts to develop innovative policies and new initiatives to help vulnerable communities become and remain economically secure.  Susan represented the Insight Center on a range of economic security-related policies and programs, including: testifying at public hearing and writing public comments; identifying, building and sustaining new partnerships, speaking to the press; organizing networks, conducting trainings and presentations; and writing reports.  Over nearly a decade with the Insight Center, Susan identified new opportunities to deepen the organization’s impact, and strategically expanded its geographic reach by developing and managing the implementation of four new initiatives.

Susan has worked to achieve economic justice for nearly two decades. Prior to joining the Insight Center, Susan directed an asset development program for low-income refugees at Lao Family Community Development. She contested public assistance case closings and benefits allocations as an advocate at the Urban Justice Center in New York City. And, early in her career, Susan was competitively selected to participate in a management training program in municipal government, New York City Urban Fellows Program, where she analyzed the impacts of new policies on tax collection and housing rehabilitation for the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development.

Susan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College, and received an MPA in Public Policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Style Guide: Winning Word for Closing the Racial Wealth Gap

The Insight Center has partnered with Anat Shenker-Osorio to create a style guide that helps us use human terms about wealth accumulation and wealth inequality and speak from a model of inequality as a barrier. Anat demonstrates that communicating effectively – conveying that inequality is a product of our economic and political systems and that racism is a real factor – requires overcoming default reasoning that consequences that befall individuals are due to their efforts or traits. Most Americans have trouble seeing and acknowledging long-lasting historic crimes and existing racism. While these factors pose formidable challenges to saying what we mean and getting heard, both Alan and Anat are teaching us to be more effective in reaching our targeted audiences.

Also, you can find another language tool Anat has worked on with the Center for Community Change to launch a bold new campaign to confront poverty in America.