Susan A. Anderson is of Tlingit heritage and is Eagle/Wolf. She was raised in Anchorage, Eagle River, Valdez, Seward, and spent time in Juneau, Alaska. She received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s in adult education administration from Western Washington University. She also holds a post-graduate certificate in project management and was selected to attend the Stanford University Executive Program for Philanthropy Leaders.
Anderson serves as the President/CEO of the CIRI Foundation, who provide programs that promote individual economic self-sufficiency and cultural pride through education among Cook Inlet Region original enrollees and their descendants who live in Alaska and around the world. Anderson has held this position since April 2000.
Anderson was instrumental in moving forward the work of the Ready to Read, Ready to Learn Task Force: Alaska’s Early Childhood Investment and served as the Chair of Best Beginnings Early Learning Council which was formed to implement the task force recommendations. Her activities with the Foundation have led to Alaska Journal of Commerce Top Forty under 40 recognition, a YWCA Women of Achievement Award, an Alaska Village Initiatives “Chief’s Knife” Award as well as induction in to the Athena Society.
Prior to joining the Foundation Anderson was manager of the Continuing Education Programs for SPIE—The International Society for Optical Engineering, a not-for-profit scientific organization. While with SPIE she was responsible for the design, implementation, and management of international continuing education programs for the Society. She also consulted with National Alliance for Photonics Education in Manufacturing partners around the United States to facilitate communication and effective implementation of programs among universities, technical institutes and industry members. She coordinated more than 350 educational programs attended by more than 5,000 annual registrants and administered the Society’s scholarship and grant programs.
Her volunteer and board service includes the Alaska Children’s Trust, Alaska Funders’ Group,
ANCSA Education Consortium, Philanthropy Northwest, University of Alaska Foundation, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.