After realizing school politics in her youth meant “always a secretary, never a president,” Susan Shaer focused on putting women at the tables of power. She now heads the national women's peace and security organization WAND (Women's Action for New Directions), a politically savvy, progressive policy organization with an affiliated PAC that has helped elect 43 women currently serving in the U.S. Congress.
WAND trains women activists and women state legislators on media and message, honing their strategies and tactics to “connect and lead.” Its program for women legislators includes Rep. Gabby Giffords and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, both from Arizona. WAND also helped push the new START treaty through the U.S. Senate.
Shaer is a founding member of the Campaign for America's Future; heads the Clearinghouse for Women Candidates at the Institute of Politics, the Kennedy School, Harvard; and is a radio commentator and an award-winning cable TV moderator. She has trained women from Caribbean nations and Mexico to run for office and has helped NGOs in Kosovo learn how to build transparency in government. A leader of the anti-war movement, Shaer initiated and co-chairs Win Without War, the national mainstream coalition against the U.S. war in Iraq and Afghanistan. She champions women in Afghanistan as pivotal instruments for peace, security, and economic growth.