Vera’s experts conduct research and analysis and develop policies and programs in a variety of criminal and social justice fields. Their varied knowledge, background, and experience enable Vera to address the full spectrum of national and local justice issues.
Susan Shah, JD, MPH has dedicated her career to improving the lives of those who are vulnerable and marginalized by laws, policies, and inadequate services. As chief of staff, she works to advance Vera's strategic direction and align organizational performance to support vitality and growth. A member of Vera's leadership team, Susan acts as a liaison to Vera’s executive director to problem solve and review project concepts and ideas for investment. Susan also oversees Vera’s community policing projects, particularly those that focus on institutionalizing community policing, increasing community engagement in public safety problem solving, improving police-immigrant relations, and equipping law enforcement to effectively serve limited English proficient populations. From 2008-2015, Susan was a program director in Vera’s Center on Immigration and Justice, where she guided police, justice officials, and lawyers in improving immigrants’ access to justice and safety. Previously, she directed Vera’s Unaccompanied Children Program, which provides legal assistance to unaccompanied immigrant children who are facing deportation. Prior to joining Vera in 2006, Susan directed a health prevention education, research, and training program for New York City’s immigrant communities and was an associate in the immigration practice group of Bryan Cave LLP. In 2015, she was selected for the inaugural Immigrant Women Leaders Fellowship of the New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs. Susan earned her JD from Northeastern University School of Law, an MPH from Tufts University, and a BA in journalism from Drake University.