CEO & Founder
Over the last two decades, Susannah Wellford founded two organizations designed to raise the political voice of young women in America.
In spring 2007, Susannah founded Running Start to inspire young women and girls to pursue political leadership. Running Start furthers the work begun by the Women Under Forty Political Action Committee (WUFPAC), which Susannah cofounded in 1999 and led for five years.
Susannah is a globally recognized expert on women in politics, and she speaks frequently about the importance of inspiring more young women to enter politics. In addition to speaking and training at law schools, universities, nonprofits and private companies in the US, she has lectured in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Israel, Belgium, Ukraine, Algeria, England, Germany and Russia. She served as an opinion contributor at US News and World Report on gender and politics, and she is the coauthor of a chapter in “Feminist Pedagogy, Practice and Activism: Improving Lives for Girls and Women.” She has won multiple awards for her work, including the ExCelHonors Youth Advocate Award in 2019, and the John W. Kuykendall Award for Community Service from Davidson College in 2020. Susannah recently participated in the Joint Civilian Orientation Course (JCOC), the oldest and most prestigious public liaison program in the United States Department of Defense. In the spring of 2020, Susannah began teaching Women and Political Leadership at American University.
After receiving her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1998, Susannah worked for several years at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand, lobbying for state and local governments, foreign governments, corporate entities and trade associations before Congress and the Executive Branch.
Prior to law school, Susannah worked for Hillary Clinton’s Health Care Task Force in the Clinton White House. As a member of the Health Care War Room staff, she planned and executed grass-roots health care events for the President and First Lady and coordinated speaking events for Congressional Members and White House staff on health care reform issues. She is also a former Legislative Assistant for Senator Wyche Fowler from Georgia and a proud 1990 graduate of Davidson College. Susannah lives in Washington, DC and Brooklyn, New York. She is the proud mother of twins, Beatrice and James.