Susan East Nelson has spent her 20-year career working as a journalist, lobbyist, non-profit executive, communications director, and helping numerous clients navigate the legislative process as a both a legislative director and political consultant. She has also written research reports and drafted legislation on child exploitation victim reparations, community food access, and sustainable building. In 2016, she was responsible for writing grant proposals that brought in over $200,000 to Southern University Law Center.
Ms. Nelson is an attorney licensed to practice in Massachusetts, Louisiana, and the District of Columbia. She is a 2014 cum laude graduate of Southern University Law Center. Her law practice focuses mainly on elder law and non-profit organization law. Ms. Nelson is also co-founder of the Legislative Drafting Institute for Child Protection, a non-profit that drafts legislation for organizations that work to protect children.
Just prior to attending law school, Ms. Nelson founded PFD Consulting, a small-business consulting firm that supports non-profit organizations and small businesses in communications strategy, fund development, grant writing and government relations. Ms. Nelson helps her clients find solutions to their toughest problems by creating the organizational capacity to advocate for mission and maximize efficiency. Ms. Nelson’s career also includes over five years with the world-wide strategy firm Booz Allen Hamilton where she worked as an acquisition, change management and communications expert in the federal government sector.
As a law student, Ms. Nelson focused on public law and this focus on led her to the summer program at Vermont Law School where she studied U.S. Food Policy. As a result of her summer education experience, she has devised a plan to bring a community food cooperative to Baton Rouge’s largest food desert. She presented her research at the 71st Annual Professional Agriculture Workers Conference (PAWC) at Tuskegee University in December 2013, where she updated attendees on the current developments in the U.S. Farm Bill. She is the co-author of Farm Bill Trends and Food Insecurity: Impacts on Rural and Urban Communities, a research paper that was published in the Professional Agriculture Workers Journal and has been downloaded hundreds of times as a source on rural and urban solutions to food access.
In addition to her duties as Interim Director of External Affairs, Ms. Nelson serves as an Adjunct Professor teaching Contracts, Common Law Property, and Statutory Analysis.