Susan Eaton

Professor of the Practice and Director, Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

Susan  Eaton's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 375
Phone: 63918
Brandeis Directory


racial and economic inequality in public education
demographic change and its implications for schools and municipalities
causes and remedies for racial and economic segregation and concentrated poverty in schools and neighborhoods
civil rights law and education
immigration policy, particularly at the local and state levels, and immigrant integration practice
social justice philanthropy (history and contemporary practice)
narrative non fiction writing


  • HS 307a - Immigrant Integration in the United States: Policy, Practice and People


  • Harvard University
  • Harvard University
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Susan Eaton

Professor of the Practice and Director, Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy


Dr. Susan Eaton is Director of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at the Heller School.

At the Sillerman Center, Susan and her colleagues engage funders and their advisors, socially concerned scholars and non-profit practitioners to increase and enhance grantmaking to social justice causes. Susan is also Professor of the Practice at the Heller School and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Susan is an author, most recently, of the book, Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at Its Best (The New Press, 2016), about myriad efforts that welcome and incorporate immigrants into their new communities across the United States. She also is the author of the critically acclaimed, The Children In Room E4: American Education on Trial (Algonquin, 2007), which chronicles a landmark civil rights case and life in a classroom and neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut and The Other Boston Busing Story: What's Won and Lost Across the Boundary Line (Yale, 2001), a qualitative interview study of the adult lives of African Americans who had participated in a voluntary school desegregation effort in suburban Boston. She is co-author, with Gary Orfield, of Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. (New Press, 1996).
Prior to her appointment at Heller in 2015, Susan was research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, Susan also founded and co-directed the storytelling project One Nation Indivisible, which amplifies the voices and work of people creating and sustaining racially, culturally and linguistically integrated schools and other social institutions. She has also been a frequent advisor, consultant and writer for national and regional foundations in the United States. For the first decade of her career, Susan was a newspaper reporter for dailies in Massachusetts and Connecticut where she covered public schools, city government and housing.

Her writing has appeared in numerous scholarly and popular publications including the New York Times, the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, the Nation, Education Week, Education Next, Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Law & Policy Review, Race Poverty & The Environment and many others.

Susan holds a doctorate in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.


  • Eaton, Susan. "Change in the Land of Steady Habits." Annual Meeting - Connecticut Council on Philanthropy. New Haven, Connecticut. April 20, 2015.
  • Eaton, Susan. "Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at its Best." The Poverty And Race Research Action Council - Book Series. Washington, DC. March 25, 2016.
  • Eaton, Susan. Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at its Best. 1 ed. New York: The New Press, 2016.