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Susan Marx


Human Rights Director
The Carter Center

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Susan Marx was appointed Carter Center Human Rights Program Director in May 2022. In this role, she oversees the strategic direction, fundraising, program design, and implementation of programs aimed at advancing the rights of protected groups; racial justice in the US; climate and environmental justice; and country-specific programs in DRC, Israel-Palestine, and India. Before joining The Carter Center, she was Project Director for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative based in Pretoria, combating human trafficking in the Southern Africa Development Community. She also designed and implemented women’s economic empowerment and gender-based violence reduction initiatives in Eswatini. 

Previously, Marx spent 10 years with The Asia Foundation, most recently as the country representative in Timor-Leste, managing a diverse portfolio including gender-based violence, police reform, and sustainable economic development programs. She first joined the Foundation as a program manager for women’s rights in Afghanistan, where she partnered with village elders and religious leaders to provide community-based education on women’s rights within an Islamic framework. Prior to joining The Asia Foundation, Marx worked as a humanitarian aid worker for an NGO overseeing human rights programs, including the construction and relocation of Afghan refugees in northern Afghanistan. Marx started her career at the U.S. Agency for International Development in Baghdad, Iraq.

South African-born Marx is an expert in human rights, the rule of law, access to justice, gender-based violence, combating human trafficking, climate, environmental justice, strategic leadership, program design, implementation, and operational management. She has worked and lived in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States, specifically focusing on conflict, post-conflict, and least-developed environments. 

Marx has extensive community engagement and volunteer experience, including as the volunteer coordinator for Artists for a New South Africa in Los Angeles between 2002 and 2005. In 2008, she was the founder and chair of Democrats Abroad Afghanistan, where she ran get-out-the-vote initiatives to encourage Americans from abroad to vote.  While living in Timor-Leste, she organized the Women’s March of 2017 and raised money for premature babies at the national hospital in Dili. During the COVID-19 pandemic, while living in Pretoria, she founded a Community Action Network to sustain the livelihoods of hundreds of largely immigrant communities who lost their employment overnight and had no access to government grants by coordinating food and other essential donations.    

As a mother of three, she is active in her public-school community and serves as a board member for Atlanta Youth Rugby. This community organization aims to bring rugby to young people, especially underserved communities in Atlanta. 

Marx holds a Master of Studies degree in international human rights law from Oxford University, a Master’s in African studies from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California. She is also a Yale School of Management Women’s Leadership Course graduate.  

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