Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life Names New Director

AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 21, 2015 – The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication has appointed Susan Turner Nold as its new director, effective Sept. 21, 2015.

Before being named director of the Annette Strauss Institute, Nold worked as General Counsel to Texas Senator Kirk Watson and a Staff Attorney for the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Prior to working in the Texas Capitol, Susan practiced law as a Litigation Associate at Bracewell & Giuliani, volunteered as a Congressional Affairs Liaison for a presidential campaign, worked in development for a political committee in Washington, D.C. and was a White House intern.

“As director, I hope to raise awareness to the Institute, both on the UT campus and beyond,” Nold said. “This means explaining why civic engagement matters and what we do to further it. I also want to increase support for the work of the Institute’s team of dedicated scholars and staff. It is my hope that the Institute can play a role in countering the current trends of disengagement in political and civic life.”

Nold’s appreciation for civic engagement is deeply rooted in the experiences of her upbringing in Crockett, Texas, where generations of her family engaged in public and community service, including her father, who served in the Texas House, Texas Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Personally, I believe that Susan will be an extraordinary leader of the Institute,” said Roderick P. Hart, professor in the Department of Communication Studies and founding director of the Annette Strauss Institute. “The Institute’s mission courses through her blood – she has worked effectively with people of all political persuasions and she profoundly believes in the need to get all Texans involved in civic lives of their communities.”

Susan and her husband Danny Nold, are parents of two children, Ginger, 7, and Danny Jr., 5.

Nold earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Methodist University in 1999 and her law degree from The University of Texas School of Law in 2004, where she participated in moot-court and co-founded the UT chapter of Street Law.

“I believe The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life should be our state’s primary forum for the exchange of ideas and research pertaining to civic engagement,” Nold said. “Through scholarship, teaching, and events it should prepare students to become engaged citizens and civic leaders. It should partner with public, corporate and non-profit organizations around the state to create opportunities for greater civic involvement.” 

Contact: Lauren Phillips, 512-471-2182 

Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer