Catalyst Initiative Director, George Family Foundation
Suzanne Koepplinger is the Catalyst Initiative Director at the George Family Foundation in Minneapolis, MN. This initiative is dedicated to helping people lead full and healthy lives, develop self-care as primary care and embed culturally meaningful trauma healing practices in community. Following a successful 3 ½ year incubation period, the Catalyst Initiative will become an initiative of the Minneapolis Foundation effective January 2, 2018. This move will allow the emergent promising practices to go to scale, raise visibility of the need to address trauma in culturally meaningful ways, and demonstrate how philanthropy can innovate for enhanced community wellbeing.
Previously, she served for ten years as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center (MIWRC) in Minneapolis. At MIWRC, she led the organization in researching and responding to the sex trafficking of Native women and girls and developing culturally based interventions for deep healing. She testified before Congress on sexual violence against Native women on two occasions, and is a consultant for the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) on the subject of human trafficking.
Her community involvement includes board service at Artspace and Frank Theatre, and she remains a core member of the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force.
Ms. Koepplinger is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Sheila Wellstone Award from Wellstone Action and the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. She was one of 15 national leaders selected for the 2011 – 2012 Move to End Violence Initiative of the NoVo Foundation.
She holds a Master of Arts degree in the Art of Leadership from Augsburg College in Minnesota. She has extensive public speaking and training experience across sectors.
George Family Foundation
The Mission of the George Family Foundation is to foster wholeness in mind, body, spirit and community by developing authentic leaders and supporting transformative programs serving the common good.