Susanna Cooper

Special Advisor

Susanna Cooper is managing director of Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research ​at the University of California, Davis. She focuses on helping organizations improve public education and the well-being of young people, and consults to select clients in the preK-14 education arena. For eight years, Susanna was senior education policy advisor to Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. Her work at the intersection of policy, politics and pragmatism produced major public policy change impacting public education.

In addition to her role in the state Senate, Susanna has served as visiting journalism fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and as director of communications for a non-profit organization focused on early education. She was a writer, editor and editorial board member at the Sacramento Bee, where she was responsible for the newspaper’s editorial positions on public schools and children’s issues.

Susanna is president of the board of EdSource. She 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 lives in Sacramento with her husband and two children.