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Susan Wolfson

Director, Strategic Communication & Stakeholder Engagement

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Connecting people, communities, and ideas. Engendering trust. Igniting innovative approaches for change.

“Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary—the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. So, I said that the little individual can be a trim-tab … if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.”
—Buckminster Fuller

Susan has spent nearly three decades conceiving and choreographing multi-faceted awareness, education, and community change initiatives, focusing on complex issues including HIV/AIDS and women’s reproductive health. Rooted in her unique understanding of the complex dynamics of individuals, health providers, communities, systems, public health, policy makers, media, advocates, and others, Susan pushes traditional thinking, animates new ideas, builds trust, and brings deeper meaning to the work she guides, shapes, and leads. It takes one conversation with Susan to feel heard, two to feel confident you are understood, and three to believe you have a sage strategist and true partner to help forge the clear path to the solution you’re seeking, the change you hope to make, the future you want to see.

A skilled listener and connector, Susan has served as a compass for leaders at companies, government agencies, nonprofits, academic institutions, and advocacy organizations, helping to design, align, and implement groundbreaking initiatives to generate engagement, action, and impact. Recognized for her ability to intuitively see the spark with the potential to ignite collaborative action, she leads with with a blend of strategy, skill, empathy, and pragmatic wisdom.

Clients, colleagues, and partners appreciate Susan’s straight talk, unconventional approach, depth and breadth of experience, and ability to animate a range of disparate voices toward a shared purpose. She is a trusted partner, convincing champion, and compass for change, leveraging her strategic communication and stakeholder engagement core competencies, in concert with multiple programmatic elements, to design and implement integrated change initiatives that changemakers seek, support, and sustain.

At TCC Group:
  • ViiV Healthcare: Susan works closely with clients, leaders, and communities to design and implement integrated initiatives that help close the gaps in HIV prevention, treatment, and care for those most impacted. Building on community listening, Susan helped set strategy and spearhead several complex initiatives featuring unique grant design, learning communities, ongoing grantee connection, co-created community programs, strategic communication activities, and creative culture projects, with thoughtful evaluation, reflection, and responsive change. Programs focus on the Black gay and bisexual men in cities hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, youth living with HIV and at risk, people living in the American South, Latinx gay and bisexual men, and women of color, specifically Black cis- and transgender women.
Before TCC Group:
  • American Institutes for Research: Susan has contributed to multiple change initiatives, including Shine the Light!/deepsouth, an engagement project focusing attention on the neglected HIV/AIDS crisis in the rural South; and Powering the PrEPosition: (How to Get Away with) Murder, Media, Insight and Impact, promoting safe space discourse on the complex roles of media, culture, and medical professionals in the awareness and adoption of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a highly effective HIV prevention strategy. She also designed, developed, and provided oversight for implementation of campaigns addressing HIV/AIDS for federal government agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health Resources Services Administration.
  • SENSEI Health: For more than a decade, Susan led this boutique health communication firm, building campaigns and managing stakeholder engagement and strategic communication activities for clients including Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, The American College of Preventive Medicine, Stryker, Kaiser Family Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, and others. Key initiatives included: ACTS (Assess, Consent, Test, Support): A Rapid, Reality-based System for HIV Counseling and Testing, with the Adolescent AIDS Program of Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY; and Aspirin Talks: Start a Life-Saving Conversation, an educational initiative of the American College of Preventive Medicine, with support from Bayer Corporation, to promote conversation with health providers and consumers about the safe use of aspirin for those at substantial risk for heart attack and stroke.
Education:
  • Temple University
    • BA, History
Board Service:
  • Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP) (past)
  • NARAL Pro-Choice New York (past)
Additional Works:
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