Susan Shah

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 director of programs and strategy at Vera, she oversees programmatic initiatives that are driving change in the juvenile, criminal, and immigration systems. She also incubates and fundraises for new initiatives that advance Vera's strategic direction and harness new opportunities to tackle the most pressing injustices of our time. 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. Prior to assuming this role, she served as chief of staff and led programmatic and institute-wide strategic planning. From 2011-2015, 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 and coached law enforcement on how to successfully overcome language barriers. 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 at the Center for Immigrant Health 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 is a board member of Groundswell, which engages youth in public art-making to advance social change and is an advisory council member of the Mindful Justice Initiative. Susan earned her JD from Northeastern University School of Law, an MPH from Tufts University, and a BA in journalism from Drake University.