Bearing Witness Fellow

Susan K. Barnett is an Emmy-nominated investigative journalist who comes from the network newsmagazines, ABC’s Prime Time Live, 20/20, and NBC’s Dateline. Susan achieved national recognition for her award-winning reporting, which included work with Government Accountability Project.

Stories have covered poor conditions in child care across the U.S.; medical mistakes in the unregulated field of diagnostic ultrasound; migrant labor abuses; the federal deregulation of the nation’s meat inspection system; food mishandling and labor abuses at the nation’s fastest growing grocery chain; the abusive U.S. commercial dog breeding industry (for which she is honored to have been banned from the American Kennel Club “AKC” for life); international adoption scams; school violence; aviation safety and more.

After 16-years in journalism, she turned her attention to consulting with nonprofits and authors, and currently specializes in content development and media/communications strategy as founder of Cause Comms.

Domestically, clients include the Auburn Senior Fellows, a diverse range of high-level faith leaders engaged in the many important social justice issues of our time. She has worked with multiple authors and edited ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate by Dr. Anne Speckhard. Internationally, Susan is the communications strategy point person for several projects including Global Water 2020, Faith in Foreign Assistance and tying it all together, she founded Faiths for Safe Water, the only advocacy project that engages interfaith action around water, the single symbol shared by every world religion. She is passionately committed to increasing sustainable access to safe water and sanitation, the foundation for health and life for all.

Susan does select production work. Most recently, the zoom-dependent May You Vote in advance of the 2020 election. Previously, she wrote/produced/directed a film series in Borneo, linking rainforest health to human health. Produced in Indonesian for local communities, these films aided efforts that stopped almost all illegal logging in one Borneo’s last great rainforests. This follows her role as producer of the award-winning documentary, No Place On Earth (Magnolia Pictures), which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012 and has been shown in festivals, theatres and television on six continents.

Susan began her investigative journalism career when she forgot to go to law school and instead joined the Better Government Association, a nonprofit, nonpartisan government watchdog in Chicago. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and sits on the boards of the Bureau for International Reporting and Art for Refugees in Transition.

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