Susan True

Chief Executive Officer

In her role as Chief Executive Officer of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, Susan continues her lifelong commitment to work that improves lives and strengthens communities. Susan began leading the Foundation in October 2017 and brought experience leading programs that make life measurably better for those that they serve. Her financial expertise and her love of this community make her work as the Foundation’s CEO a “dream job” for her. She oversees the stewardship of $135 million in assets and mobilizes people, ideas and resources to make Santa Cruz County a place where all people will have the opportunity to grow and thrive.

As an alumna of UCSC’s Community Studies program, Susan’s career reflects a passion for strengthening our county. Earlier in her career, Susan worked to stop the spread of HIV; then as Executive Director of CASA, she advocated for safe, permanent homes for children in foster care. Later she led First 5 Santa Cruz County where she was able to design and fund programs to provide health insurance for all children, reduce child maltreatment and promote improved literacy outcomes. Susan left Santa Cruz County for a few years to earn her Master’s degree from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and then to lead education efforts at the Kenneth Rainin Foundation in Oakland.

Santa Cruz County has given Susan the perfect place to live the true meaning of philanthropy — the love of humanity. Susan has volunteered in local schools, has been a foster parent and has served as an elected Trustee on Cabrillo College’s governing board. She is the mother of an adult son, Nicholas, who is a middle school teacher in Monterey. Susan is an avid runner, cyclist, baker and cook. She loves to walk on the beach during negative low tides and spend time in her sunny Live Oak cottage.

Ask Susan about...

Susan loves learning about how people live the meaning of philanthropy. She works to build awareness with individuals, nonprofit agencies, companies, and other funders on how they can create lasting change through charitable giving. She would love to hear from you and to learn about your desire to leave this world a little better than we found it.

Meet Other Staff Members

Sam Leask

Philanthropic Services Director

Susan Farrar

Chief Operating and Financial Officer