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Susan Donley


Headshot of Susan Donley

Susan Donley is Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, of LeadingAge, which represents more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Working with its members and 38 state partners, LeadingAge uses applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old.

Previously, Ms. Donley was Publisher and CEO of Stria, a digital news platform for the longevity market. Prior to Stria, she served as Publisher and Managing Director of Next Avenue, public media’s first and only national service for America’s booming older population. Under Ms. Donley’s leadership, Next Avenue served over 45 million people at In 2015, she founded Next Avenue’s Influencers in Aging, an annual list of people changing aging in America. Ms. Donley led day-to-day operations and was responsible for its strategic and financial success. She secured millions of dollars in revenue and financial support, and brokered collaborations with leading media outlets, nonprofits and government agencies.

Ms. Donley is dedicated to improving the lives of older people through powerful media and communications. She was recognized for her leadership with the 2017 What’s Next Boomer Business Innovation Award for media. And she was named to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Age-Friendly DC Task Force, serving a term that lasts from 2018-2023.

Throughout her career, Ms. Donley has cultivated expertise in organizational strategy, digital content, revenue development, strategic partnerships, branding and marketing. She is passionate about social change and public service and has dedicated her career to promoting a sustainable nonprofit sector by putting smart strategies into action.

In 2007, Ms. Donley founded Susan Donley Consulting, which offers strategic business and communications services to nonprofits including Anne Tumlinson Innovations, Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, PBS, WNYC Radio and the New School in New York. Ms. Donley was the communications director at national housing nonprofit CSH, and held positions at social marketing agency BBMG and marketing sales company Channel M. Ms. Donley’s career began in public broadcasting where she led national advertising and promotion campaigns for PBS programs like Ken Burns' The Civil War, Frontline and Masterpiece Theatre, and worked on interactive campaigns, on-air initiatives and the launch of the PBS KIDS brand.

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The National Center to Reframe Aging is dedicated to ending ageism by advancing an equitable and complete story about aging in America. The center is the trusted source for proven communication strategies and tools to effectively frame aging issues. It is the nation’s leading organization, cultivating an active community of individuals and organizations to spread awareness of implicit bias toward older people and influence policies and programs that benefit all of us as we age.

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