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executive director

Susan Higginbotham, MEd

Higginbotham_headshot Susan Higginbotham MEd

On Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, Susan Higginbotham began her tenure as executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Susan was selected by the PCADV Board of Directors in September 2017 following an extensive nationwide search. Susan has more than 25 years of experience dedicated to addressing mission-related issues including domestic violence, reproductive and sexual health, HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health. She has been in executive leadership for twenty years.

“Susan comes to PCADV with a wealth of experience in social justice and coalition work. Her philosophical ideas reflect the PCADV board of directors' vision for the organization's growth and development moving forward,” said board president, Michelle Robinson-Ritter. “Susan brings to PCADV a rich history of fundraising, successful team-building, systems advocacy and training, public policy reform and coalition building backed by a strong desire to lead the nation's first domestic violence coalition into the future.”

Susan has served as executive director of the Society of Family Planning (SFP) and the SFP Research Fund based in Philadelphia. Her prior experience includes president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Chester County and executive director of the AIDS Fund. Before relocating to Pennsylvania, Higginbotham worked as executive director of a community-based domestic violence center in South Carolina before going on to lead the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as executive director. She has also been an active volunteer on a number of non-profit boards including Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, Thrift for AIDS, Center for Responsible Funding and the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault, where she served on the drafting committee for 2000 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Susan received her BA in psychology and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to earn her Master’s in Counselor Education and Psychology from North Carolina State University. Her education prepared her for direct service in the family planning and domestic and sexual violence fields.

Higginbotham received her BA in psychology and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to earn her Master’s in Counselor Education and Psychology from North Carolina State University. Her education prepared her for direct service in the family planning and domestic and sexual violence fields.

Higginbotham has extensive experience—both professional and volunteer— working in collaboration with allied non-profits to address similar mission-based issues. For the last nine years, she has served as executive director of the Society of Family Planning (SFP) and the SFP Research Fund based in Philadelphia. Her prior experience includes president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Chester County and executive director of the AIDS Fund. Before relocating to Pennsylvania, Higginbotham worked as executive director of a community-based domestic violence center in South Carolina before going on to lead the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as executive director. She has also been an active volunteer on a number of non-profit boards including Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, Thrift for AIDS, Center for Responsible Funding and the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault, where she served on the drafting committee for 2000 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

“It’s an honor for me to have the opportunity to help lead PCADV through its next chapter.  On behalf of Pennsylvanians struggling with or at risk for intimate partner violence, I look forward to working with the member programs, our collaborators, the board, and staff to address safety needs and the myriad issues that serve to compound the impact of domestic violence,”
explained Higginbotham.

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