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Susan Parker

As a freshman in college, I took my first journalism class and quickly realized that I wanted to be a reporter. I loved talking to people, figuring out what made them tick, tracking down hard-to-find information and then writing what I learned in an engaging, clear article that people wanted to read.

For the first eight years of my career I worked as a print reporter. I honed my journalism skills while working for a daily newspaper and covering the U.S. Congressional beat. I then shifted gears and moved to Guatemala to learn Spanish and become a foreign correspondent. I jumped into reporting there at one of the most volatile times in the history of Guatemala - during a civil war.

The war was showing signs that it might end but violence was still part of daily life as the rebels and the government attempted to strengthen their hands in negotiations and Guatemalans marched in the streets.

As a correspondent for Time magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, I traveled to remote areas to talk to the people most affected by the war. I sometimes spent weeks gaining people's trust before they opened up to me. To research my stories, I talked to Guatemalans living in unbelievably harsh conditions and in constant fear of becoming a victim of the long-standing war.

I landed interviews with the president of Guatemala, his Secretary of Defense and other top officials, as well as a Guatemalan woman, Rigoberta Menchu, who had just received the Nobel Peace Prize.

After a few years in Guatemala, I returned to the U.S. I founded Clear Thinking Communications in 1997, and I bring the same curiosity, drive and passion to my work today.

As a reporter, I've written for The Washington Post, Boston Globe, and USA Today among other publications. As a communications consultant, my clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Harvard University, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, the American Medical Association, the California Endowment, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Education Development Center.

I've written extensively about health care policy, criminal justice, education, social services and business.

In addition to my 25 years of experience in communications, I have a master's degree in theology from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a bachelor's degree in English and political science from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

 

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