Reclaiming Futures Names New National Director

07-Apr-2011 | News-Press Release

Portland, OR (April 7, 2011)  Susan Richardson, a North Carolina foundation executive with extensive experience in social service and health care management, marketing and fundraising, has been chosen as the next director of Reclaiming Futures, a national program that improves drug and alcohol treatment for teens in 29 juvenile courts across 17 states.

"Susan Richardson has the right mix of skills, talents and experiences Reclaiming Futures needs in its next leader," says Kristin Schubert, program officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which launched Reclaiming Futures in 2002 in order to reinvent how juvenile courts address drug and alcohol problems.  "We are thrilled that she has accepted the position.

Richardson is a senior program officer in the health care division of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has led a three-year effort involving the state's juvenile justice and treatment leaders that resulted in the adoption of the Reclaiming Futures model by juvenile courts in six North Carolina counties.

"Susan's work -- and especially the terrific partnerships she built among North Carolina's public agencies, foundations, and community organizations -- offers a roadmap for how Reclaiming Futures can spread its model across the country," says Karen McNeil-Miller, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. "While we hate to lose Susan, she is the perfect person for this role.  We look forward to working with her to promote the adoption of Reclaiming Futures by all of North Carolina's juvenile courts and sharing what we've learned with other states."

Prior to the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Richardson was executive director of the Annie Penn Community Trust, and worked in management, marketing, and public relations for health care and non-profit organizations.  She serves on the North Carolina Governor's Task Force for Healthy Carolinians, and is a member of Grantmakers in Health, Southeastern Council of Foundations, and a former member of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Richardson joins Reclaiming Futures on June 1, and replaces Laura Nissen, the founding director. Nissen is an associate professor at Portland State University's School of School Work who plans to return to teaching and research and also will consult with Reclaiming Futures.

"Reclaiming Futures has benefited immensely from Laura's remarkable creativity, leadership and innovation," says Schubert. "Reclaiming Futures not only offers more treatment, and better treatment, it also recognizes that teens with drug and alcohol problems need help finishing school, finding a job and connecting with a mentor."

"Connecting these critical relationships between our health and our homes, schools, jobs and communities helps to improve the health of all Americans," says Schubert. "We are grateful for Laura's extraordinary service and wish her well."


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
RWJF focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Visit


About the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust was established in 1947 and is now one of the largest private trusts in North Carolina. Its mission is to improve the quality of life and quality of health for the financially needy of North Carolina. The Health Care Division promotes wellness state-wide by investing in prevention and treatment. The Poor and Needy Division of the Trust responds to basic life needs and invests in solutions that improve the quality of life and health for financially needy residents of Forsyth County. Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company, serves as sole trustee. Visit


About Reclaiming Futures
Reclaiming Futures is an initiative created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that offers a new approach to helping teenagers caught in the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime. In 29 communities across the nation, the program has received investments to spread its model from RWJF, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The national office of Reclaiming Futures is housed in the Regional Research Institute of the School of Social Work at Portland State University. 



Mac Prichard
(503) 913-9382
Lori Howell
(503) 789-9366


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