Meet our new Programs Director

Susan Dobkins recently joined the Vista Hermosa Foundation in a new role as Programs Director. She supports the programs team who coordinate domestic and international grantmaking and the First Fruits Scholars program. She’s thrilled to join an organization with such a long history of dynamic and inspiring work that holds family, God and community at its center.

Previously, Susan was a program officer at The Russell Family Foundation in Gig Harbor WA for 11 years. She managed a multi-faceted portfolio including local grassroots leadership development and grantmaking themes of youth homelessness; scholarships for first-generation and underserved students; and the nexus of leadership development and environmental justice.

Originally from Oklahoma, Susan went to university in San Antonio TX, and upon graduation accepted a commission as a Mission Intern with the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. As a Mission Intern, Susan worked for a human rights organization in Nicaragua and then transitioned back to the US, moving to Eugene OR. After completing the Methodist program, she spent 12 years organizing farmworkers and leading family immigration services in Oregon’s Willamette Valley before relocating to Tacoma in 2002. Susan has extensive networks in regional and national philanthropy through service on committees for organizations such as Grassroots Grantmakers, the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Self Development of Peoples (SDOP) Fund of the Presbyterian Church USA. She currently serves as International Taskforce Chair for SDOP.
Susan is an avid bicyclist and boater, and is excited to explore all the recreational opportunities that the Tri-Cities offer with her husband Erik. They have a daughter, Clara, who will attend Central Washington University in the fall of 2019. They also have two fur babies (rescue dogs Roxie and Flynn).

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