GDF US Director
A political ecologist, GDF US Director Dr. Susannah McCandless holds degrees in Geography, Biology, Francophone and Latin American studies. After college, she accompanied smallholder Costa Rican farmers, who raised questions about conservation-as-usual. Back on unceded Western Abenaki territory, she studied labor and access in Vermont’s iconic working landscapes. She still collaborates with farmworkers, whose grassroots advocacy changed terms of access, mobility, and self-determination in the state.
A Fulbright Scholar, Ford Community Forestry and Switzer Fellow, Susannah taught at University of Vermont and Mount Holyoke. She has worked on land and food sovereignty, community forestry, ethnobiology, environmental justice and migrant labor. At GDF, she supports Indigenous- and community-led initiatives and co-organizes convenings to strengthen connection, resilience and wellbeing. Susannah is committed to strengthening viable landscapes and dignified livelihoods.