Co-founder and Managing Director, Howard Delafield International (HDI)
In her leadership role at HDI, Susan has secured and managed over $35 million in funding to design products, programs, and implement solutions globally that embody a systems-approach to problem-solving. She is a behavioral scientist, public health practitioner, educator, and innovator who teaches, mentors, and creates at the nexus of academia, industry, and entrepreneurship. She combines theories from the behavioral and social sciences with best practices from game-based learning technologies, human-centered design, direct to consumer marketing, and other business innovations to design solutions that address pressing health and environmental issues, both globally and locally.
She is the Project Director and Principal Investigator for the Game of Choice, Not Chance where she is managing the design, development, marketing, knowledge management, sustainability, and research functions of an initiative that creates digital games designed with and for youth. The GOC model is a realization of her vision that allows players to navigate challenges through an avatar, meet mentors, and gain instant access to vital information and resources–all in the palm of their hands.
Working in over 20 countries her work has included designing integrative programs and projects to address the link between environmental change and infectious diseases; stigma & discrimination and HIV; deforestation and fuel efficient stoves; integration of nutrition and agriculture in infant and young child feeding; earthquake relief and maternal, neonatal and child health; population dynamics, family planning and reproductive health; water, sanitation and hygiene; environmental health and democracy and governance.
Currently, Susan is producing and managing several game-based learning, direct-to-consumer projects to effect behavior change in global health and the environment.
Susan infuses this entrepreneurial spirit into her classrooms as an Assistant Professor in the School of Integrative Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University. She has been recognized for outstanding teaching and service as a recipient of multiple awards.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Susan received her Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a dual specialization in Health Systems and Global Health, and her PhD with a research interest in the applications of game-based learning in One Health in the Environmental Science and Policy Department of George Mason University. She received her undergraduate degree in English from Wesleyan University.
Complementing Susan’s academic background and professional experience is her commitment to service that includes her active volunteer involvement with the National Park Service, where she earned recognition through the 2016 NPS Centennial Service Award.
An avid outdoors person, she enjoys hiking, biking, and ocean kayaking. Susan also is an amateur painter and supports artists both locally and internationally.
Paintings: Arts Club, Washington Members Show 2022