Susan K. Thomas is President of the Melville Charitable Trust where she oversees the Trust’s grantmaking strategy, philanthropic partnerships and administration. Formerly the Trust’s Program Director, Susan led the foundation’s housing and racial equity efforts for five years, while managing a state and national portfolio of grants supporting solutions to homelessness. Susan has been instrumental in the creation of Funders for Housing and Opportunity, a national non-partisan, cross-sector funder collaborative focused on tackling the housing affordability crisis by supporting advocacy, narrative change work, and efforts to scale effective practices at the intersection of housing, health, economic mobility, and education. While at the Trust, she was also selected to participate in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Fellowship program targeting leaders working to improve outcomes for children, families, and communities. Her experience as a Casey Fellow has been instrumental in helping the Trust develop a targeted grantmaking strategy that focuses on ending homelessness for Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
Prior to joining the Trust, Susan was Project Officer for Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, where she was responsible for leading “Unsheltered No More!,” an initiative to dramatically reduce street homelessness that placed over 1,000 homeless men, women, and children into permanent housing. As the former president of Providence Consulting Group, she helped launch a statewide foundation to assist foster families and co-chaired an effort for the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Atlanta Housing Authority to rehouse 420 families as part of a major HOPE VI redevelopment project. Susan is a former Vice President of Community Investment and Area Development at the United Way of Greater Atlanta. Prior to her nonprofit career, she worked for 15 years in the areas of accounting, management consulting, and strategic planning. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Maryland.