Staff

Sarah Jaynes

Sarah is the Director of the Heartland Fund and the Rural Democracy Initiative. She also serves as a Senior Advisor to Committee on States, coaching emerging donor alliances in states from Alaska, to New Hampshire, to Alabama. Sarah previously served as Executive Director of Progress Alliance of Washington for thirteen years. In this capacity she helped found some of Washington state’s most important civic engagement organizations including the Washington Bus, Fuse, and the Win/Win Network, and co-led development of the Heroes’ Narrative project.  Sarah is recognized for her expertise leading innovative campaigns integrating field experiments, digital platforms, and transformative narrative. An organizer at heart, Sarah has dedicated 25 years to working for shared prosperity, democracy, and a healthy environment. When she’s not working, she is raising four kids and enjoying the spectacular Washington mountains.

Susan Kroger

Susan is Heartland Fund’s Program and Operations Manager. She has served in leadership roles in issues-based nonprofits over the past 15 years. She holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa and is completing her PhD in Rural Sociology at SDSU with an emphasis in gender and policy. Her research interests include the use of social media within social movements and barriers to social movement participation. She’s a Co-Founder of LEAD South Dakota, a grassroots organization that has helped thousands of new South Dakotans become involved in politics and helped elect several progressive candidates to office since its inception in 2016. Susan spent the last three years as a research director with a large healthcare provider where she consults on over 25 evaluation metrics projects as a data scientist. She lives in Sioux Falls with her 9 year old daughter and 8 year old son.

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