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New Chief Strategy Officer and two Directors join SVA

2 min read

A new Chief Strategy Officer and two new Directors have joined Social Ventures Australia since the beginning of the year, bringing with them a broad range of experience spanning the public, non-profit and corporate sectors.

Lili Sussman joins SVA as Chief Strategy Officer, while two new Directors also join. Jen Ehlers will lead SVA Consulting in WA, and Lisa Fowkes will head up SVA’s Employment Ventures work.

Sussman arrives with diverse international experience across the public, social purpose and corporate sectors. During her career she has worked with government, international development organisations, BCG, and most recently the Commonwealth Bank. Her expertise in customer-centric innovation, strategy, and transformation has enabled her to generate impact by tackling complex, multi-disciplinary challenges. Sussman holds a PhD in Political Science from Harvard University and has taught at Harvard and Yale.

“SVA’s drive for innovation and social change is fueled by values that I hold dear. I am joining a team that believes in the power of compassion and connection, and in finding new ways make sure everyone in Australia has the support they need to connect and thrive,” said Sussman.

Ehlers has over 20-years’ experience in multi-disciplinary business, working as a management consultant, entrepreneur and teacher. She joins SVA Consulting directly from the Performance Improvement Advisory team at EY, where she worked with clients on organisational effectiveness, strategy and governance – particularly on large public sector transformations.

Ehlers is a firm believer in the importance of a supportive community to the health and wellbeing of our social fabric and, to that end, has served on three not-for-profit boards. She is currently Chair of Ngala, one of the oldest not-for-profits in WA that responds to the changing needs of families and communities to meet the challenges of raising children and young people.

“I grew up being told that I lived in the ‘lucky country’ but it didn’t take long before I realised that it wasn’t ‘lucky’ for everyone,” Ehlers said. “Through my work at SVA I have the opportunity to help create thriving communities where everyone has an equal opportunity to not only participate, but to flourish.”

Lisa Fowkes joins to lead SVA’s Employment Ventures work. She has spent over 15 years as a practitioner, researcher and policy advocate in the area of ‘welfare to work’ with nearly ten years in senior roles at a large national non-profit employment services provider, and three years as its CEO. Fowkes has managed large scale programs for young people, for people with disabilities, ex-offenders and for those seeking apprenticeships.

“Too many people find themselves locked out of work, or unable to access the type of work that meets their needs,” she says. “SVA is positioned to catalyse new thinking about what can be done.”


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