Suzie Nakasian is a dynamic community leader and local elected official with 15 years of professional experience as the organizer of highly effective local and national constituent engagement campaigns.
Born in Westchester County New York, and educated at Barnard College/Columbia University, Suzie enjoyed a 15 year career in national campaign organizing before relocating to Northfield, Minnesota with her young family in 2003. Suzie’s civic experience includes participation on local advisory boards including the Northfield Environmental Quality Commission, Northfield Convention and Visitors’ Bureau (CVB), and Northfield Planning Commission), as well as her participation as an appointed member of regional governance boards including the Mill Towns State Trail Joint Powers Board, the Rice/Steele County 911 Dispatch Joint Powers Board and the Southern Minnesota Association of Regional Trails – which she served as Chair.
In 2010 Suzie was elected to the Northfield City Council, where she represents a district that includes Carleton College and Northfield’s historic east side residential district. Known as a sensible, accessible and even-keeled leader, Suzie was re-elected to the City Council by wide margins in 2014 and again in 2018.
In addition to her local government experience, Suzie is especially well known as the organizer and leader of MnRail.org a robust grass roots advocacy campaign that was successful in amending the Minnesota Statewide Rail Plan with a passenger rail corridor designation to connect south central Minnesota to Minneapolis and Saint Paul using existing rail line through Northfield. Suzie’s other community engagement projects reflect her passion for Climate Action, Sustainable growth. multi-modal transit options and work force development – to name a few.
An active Democrat, Suzie served as a catalytic organizer and Chair of the Minnesota Democratic Municipal Officials – a statewide network that doubled in size under her leadership. Her leadership subsequently led to her appointment as National Vice Chair of the DMO parent organization – National Democratic Municipal Officials (DMO) from 2015-2018.
Prior to re-locating to Northfield, Suzie worked for 15 years as the organizer and director of national public engagement and fundraising campaigns for national organizations including the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Centennial Foundation, and for the U. S. Senatorial campaigns of Senators Jack Danforth and Kit Bond (R-MO) and Senator Pete Wilson (R-CA); and for the Presidential Campaign of U. S. Senator Bob Dole (R-KS). Uncomfortable with changes in the Republican Party in the 1980s, Suzie left national politics to satisfy a longstanding call to graduate study in the inter-disciplinary area of psychology and religion. She completed two Masters Degrees and was working on a doctorate (dissertation focus William James) when she relocated to Minnesota in 2003. She has worked as an Adjunct Professor for the Carleton Religion Department and as an interim staff psychotherapist with the Carleton Wellness Center while raising her two “above-average” Minnesota kids.
Since embarking on her career as a local elected leader, Suzie has continued to pursue her intellectual interest in psychology and religion as a keen observer in group and organizational life, and for the last four years has taken an active role in trainings related mindfulness and meditation and their impact on community life and leadership.
Thank you for your interest in Suzie Nakasian’s career to date. For more information contact Suzie via email firstname.lastname@example.org.