Susan Taylor Batten is president and chief executive officer of ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities. ABFE (established in 1971 as the Association of Black Foundation Executives) is a membership-based philanthropic organization that advocates for responsive and transformative investments in Black communities. Since joining ABFE in 2009, Batten has led the organization’s philanthropic advising and programming on responsive philanthropy in Black communities for foundation leaders, donors and aligned partners.
Batten came to ABFE after more than 25 years of leadership experience in both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining ABFE, Batten served as senior associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a grantmaking institution focused on child welfare. In this role, she served as staff in the Community Change Initiatives Unit and coordinated a portfolio on equity, diversity and inclusion. In the public sector, Batten worked as a senior analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she directed research and evaluation on food assistance programs; she also served in the Government of the District of Columbia as an analyst on initiatives supporting children, youth and families.
Batten currently serves on the board at the United Philanthropy Forum and the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and is an adjunct lecturer at the Valdry Center for Philanthropy at Southern University. She received her master’s degree in social work from Howard University and her bachelor’s degree in English and political science from Fisk University.