Susanna Cooper provides strategic counsel to the Foundation. In addition, she is co-founder and executive director of Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research ​at the University of California, Davis. For eight years, Susanna was senior education policy advisor to the president pro tempore of the California State Senate. Her work at the intersection of policy, politics and pragmatism produced major public policy change impacting public education.

Previously, she served as visiting journalist at the Public Policy Institute of California and as director of communications for a non-profit organization focused on early education. She was also a writer, editor and editorial board member at the Sacramento Bee.

Susanna has been recognized by Early Edge California for her legislative accomplishments in early childhood education, by the California Association of School Counselors for her successful work to improve the accountability system for public high schools, and by Youth Acting Together for giving voice to the needs of teenagers in the Sacramento region. She is a  past president of the board of directors of EdSource, chair of the board of the James B. McClatchy Foundation, and a director of Ten Strands.