Frontier Group was founded in 1996 to investigate issues that highlight the problems of abundance, with a focus on bridging the gaps between academia, advocacy and citizen participation. As founding director, Susan built a team of analysts to make concrete and timely contributions to the national conversation. She spearheaded the development of the analytical approach that characterizes the organization's hundreds of reports, white papers, conference presentations, op-eds and journal articles, setting and maintaining the high standards of accuracy and integrity for which the organization is known. An expert editor and mentor, Susan works closely with analysts to stake out positions, hone messages and develop capacity. She also acts as a consultant to other organizations on messaging, strategic development, and staff recruitment and training. Prior to starting Frontier Group, she was Deputy Chief of Staff of the Public Interest Network.
Susan lives in Santa Barbara, California with her husband and two children. She is also a singer/songwriter.
Frontier Group provides information and ideas to help citizens build a cleaner, healthier and more democratic America. We address issues that will define our nation’s course in the 21st century – from fracking to solar energy, global warming to transportation, clean water to clean elections. Our experts and writers deliver timely research and analysis that is accessible to the public, applying insights gleaned from a variety of disciplines to arrive at new ideas for solving pressing problems.
New Economy Program
An underlying assumption of the national conversation about economic problems and political alienation is that if only America could create more jobs, and people could produce, or acquire, more goods, our quality of life would improve and many of our woes would disappear.
That assumption is wrong. The quest to keep making more things in the same old ways has left us with ecological and social challenges that undermine the vast potential of our society. And with respect to distribution, such a wealthy nation clearly has enough food, homes, and “stuff” for everyone, if we chose to distribute what we have more evenly.
Our quality of life will only improve when we accept that economic growth doesn’t automatically deliver happiness, and begin to make decisions, both in and beyond the economic realm, to support meaningful lives. We need to build communities that facilitate social connections, support family caregivers, restore the beauty in our neighborhoods, and enable people to pursue what brings them satisfaction. Frontier Group’s New Economy Program is dedicated to developing policy that acknowledges our material abundance and helps make real the possibilities of our 21st-century world.
Mary Leah Braun was a remarkable young woman who worked with the Frontier Group and other organizations in the Public Interest Network before her untimely death in April 2006. The Mary Leah Braun Fellowship was dedicated in her honor in the summer of 2007. For more information about the fellowship and its recipients, click here.