Susan (Suzy) Cowen • Senior Principal

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Susan Cowen

Suzy (Susan) Cowen has over 25 years of executive leadership experience in the nonprofit sector and a passion and sound track record of developing strong organizational cultures, succession planning, change management and talent acquisition. She also has a deep background in board recruitment, governance design and stewardship.

In her role as President and CEO at Kenneth Young Center, she guided the Board and staff through an extensive team building and strategic planning process and overhauled financial and fundraising strategies. As the Executive Director of Family Service of Glencoe, she led the organization into their Centennial year, and as President and CEO of the Illinois Collaboration on Youth, she set forth the vision for a consolidation in statewide associations for children and youth, impacting the lives of thousands of children, youth and their families.

Suzy’s most recent professional endeavors took her to the Monterey Peninsula of CA where she led an acquisition and turn around for the Gateway Foundation in the behavioral health arena. She also served in a leadership role with a hospital system tasked with developing a state of the art, evidence based center of excellence for behavioral healthcare for children and adolescents, after receiving an unprecedented $110 million gift. These efforts have broadened her experience in health care to include substance use disorder treatment and operational leadership within broader health systems.

She has an undergraduate degree from Indiana University in law and public policy and a Master’s degree in social work administration from San Diego State University. She also completed two years of doctoral coursework in organizational development and design from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois.

She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Sunset Cultural Center in Carmel, CA and has served on various Illinois-based statewide taskforces and committees including an appointment to the Child Welfare Advisory Committee. She is a long-time resident of Chicago while maintaining an active community on the Central Coast of California.