May 2015


Susanna is a native of Chattanooga, TN, and calls Knoxville, TN home. With Maggie Ullman, she coordinates the Southeast Sustainability Director Network. Together she and Maggie also manage the Urban Sustainability Directors Network Innovation Fund. She has been a team member on content scans exploring sustainability in the built environment. She operates thoroughly and quietly.

Susanna started her career with the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Environmental Policy and Planning division, where she focused on permitting and grant writing, capturing $1,500,000 for watershed restoration. She later joined TVA’s River Operations and Environment division, scheduling river flows for the 7-state system. In 2007, Susanna was recruited by the City of Knoxville to oversee final design of the waterfront redevelopment plan. She purchased property, managed construction projects, and captured $1,497,701 in funding from state and federal sources for Brownfield reclamation and design projects.

In 2009, Susanna founded the city’s first Sustainability Office with federal funds, and in 2012 it became locally funded. Projects brought in $2,480,780 in unmatched grant funds, $650,800 in new infrastructure, and are averaging annual utility bill savings of $1,392,176. In addition to building a new city office with a baseline, a strategic plan, and measureable outcomes, Susanna co-founded the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network with Asheville, NC and contributed to publications with the National Academy of Sciences and the Environmental Law Institute.

In 2013, Susanna resigned from the City to work with partners on climate change and urban sustainability issues and to pursue a doctorate in Energy Science and Engineering, with a research emphasis on the energy water nexus in urban systems. Her career goal is to embed economically efficient, environmentally logical, and socially fair best practices into the fabric of American culture.