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avatar for Susan Markham

Susan Markham

Susan Markham is a passionate advocate for gender equality and female empowerment speaking often about the essential role of women in politics and development. With experience in over 50 countries, she is a strategic leader who is appreciated for her energy, straight talk and insight, connecting academics, activists, implementers and ideas across sectors.

Susan most recently served at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as the Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. In this position, she advised Agency leadership on gender policy issues, led cross-sectoral program efforts in resilience, adolescent girls’ education and energy, and represented the Agency to the White House and other departments, governments, civil society organizations and private partners. Previously, she led the efforts of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to increase women’s political participation globally as voters, activists, candidates and officeholders. In this role, she was especially proud of her work in Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen to help women find and use their voices in their countries.