Susan Herrera served as the founding executive director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation (LANLF). Susan built the foundation from a $3 million asset pool with an annual giving budget of $2 million to a major regional foundation with an endowment of $80 million and annual giving budget of $4 million in seventeen years.
During her tenure, the LANLF priorities included a five year $20 million Inquiry Science Program in 20 NNM school districts with 1000 teachers and 25,000 students in partnership with the LANLF and Smithsonian Institution. The LANLF Inquiry Science Program culminated in a statistical significant improvement for all students in grades 3 through 6 in the areas of math, science, reading and writing verified by an independent evaluation.
The LANLF built a regional scholarship program privately funded by employees of the Los Alamos National laboratory which awarded over $6 million to 1,500 scholarship recipients over a 20 year period. Simultaneously, it built an endowment of $6 million. These scholarship recipients were also eligible for paid summer internships at the Laboratory. The scholarship program to date has a college graduation rate of 95%.
The LANLF was instrumental in helping to launch the First Born© Program in New Mexico, using a home visitation model to help first time families understand and use the latest research in early childhood development. The LANLF helped develop private and public support enabling 17 out of 34 counties in the state to implement the First Born© model. The LANLF helped create an annual funding stream which today serves 5,000 families statewide for early childhood home visitation programs.
Susan has over forty-five years of experience in the non-profit and government sector. She served in Washington D.C. as legislative staff and was director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus before relocating to New Mexico. Prior to her work at the LANLF, Susan worked for the University of New Mexico, non-profit organizations including Siete del Norte and Child-Rite. She then founded the Northern New Mexico Community College Foundation To date the Northern Foundation has awarded $3 million to 1500 students in Northern New Mexico. She has extensive experience in legislation and strategic planning, program development and design, grantwriting, non-profit development and organizational management, as well as extensive experience in fundraising. She served as the President of the New Mexico Association of Grantmakers.
She is currently a senior associate with Northern Community Development Consulting Associates (CDCA). CDCA is a consulting firm under contract to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, assisting the regional coalition of LANL communities, as well as local governments, tribes, educational institutions and non-profit organizations, with community development initiatives.