Susan K. Urahn

Susan K. Urahn is managing director of the Pew Center on the States. She oversees the division’s unique, in-depth, evidence-driven process to assess the challenges states face, and identify innovative, effective policy solutions. When the facts are clear, the Pew Center on the States and its diverse group of partners lead nonpartisan issue campaigns advocating for reforms in areas including elections, corrections, children’s dental health, and home-based programs for new and expectant families. As the leader of Pew’s portfolio of work to help states identify and implement proven policies that are fiscally sound, provide a return on investment to taxpayers, and help our nation tackle its toughest challenges, Urahn ensures that the Pew Center on the States maintains the highest standards for rigorous research, responsible, fact-based reporting, and data-driven policy advocacy. She has testified before the U.S. Congress and multiple state legislatures and spoken at numerous national conferences. She is a featured columnist for Governing magazine, and has appeared on major media outlets including NBC Nightly News, PBS, CNN, Bloomberg News, C-SPAN, and National Public Radio. Urahn has been quoted frequently in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other leading publications. Urahn joined The Pew Charitable Trusts in 1994. After becoming director of Pew’s education program in 2000, her portfolio steadily expanded to include a wide range of state policy initiatives. In 2007, she was tapped to build and lead the Pew Center on the States. She came to Pew with more than a decade of experience in policy research and educational evaluation with the Minnesota House of Representatives and at the University of Minnesota. Urahn holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in education policy and administration from the University of Minnesota. [+]