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Senior Advisors


Suzanne Abel

Suzanne Abel

Senior Advisor

Suzanne became a senior advisor at the Haas Center in September 2011, making a transition from her position as associate director for External Relations. For 16 years, Suzanne led the External Relations team and worked closely with the center's leadership to build the resources to support public service education and a strong communications program. She also advised Stanford in Government, a student-led affiliate of the Haas Center, and was a pre-major advisor to freshmen and sophomores, which she continues to do in her new role.

For a decade prior to coming to Stanford, Suzanne was the founding director of a public museum of art, history, and anthropology in Mendocino County. In the late 1970s, Suzanne lived in Costa Rica for several years, where she worked for the National Museum and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Tropical Field Research program. Her interest in Native peoples of the Americas and in U.S.-Latin American relations remains strong.

Suzanne grew up in both the United States (mostly Washington, D.C.) and abroad (the former Yugoslavia, India and the UK), and has been involved in public service throughout her adult life. Her father was a print and broadcast journalist who saw journalism as a pillar of a democratic society, and her mother was an avid volunteer wherever the family lived. A 1971 graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe, Suzanne also completed her master's and doctoral work in anthropology at Brown University and UC Berkeley.

Suzanne's late husband, Jim Kennedy, was a bereavement counselor with Peninsula Pathways, following a career as a documentary filmmaker and journalist. Her daughter graduated from Smith College in 2005 and lives in London, where she produces videos and web content in the Digital Department of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Suzanne also has three stepchildren who live and work in Los Angeles, Idyllwild (CA) and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), and four grandchildren.

Since October 2011, Suzanne has been pursuing an "encore career" as academic director at Puente de la Costa Sur in Pescadero, where she had volunteered for almost three years. In 2012, she became a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania's Cultural Heritage Center as part of a multi-year community-driven interdisciplinary project in Quintana Roo, Mexico, that focuses on the 19th-century Caste War of Yucatan.

She is a news junkie and loves international and domestic travel, film, books, animals, nature, cycling, hiking, museums, theater, and music.


Jackie Schmidt-Posner

Jackie Schmidt-Posner

Senior Advisor

Jackie Schmidt-Posner is an educator who has spent her career helping students make connections between their commitments to community engagement and social justice and their academic, personal and career development. Jackie started her educational career at the University of California, Santa Barbara, majoring in political science and sociology. At UCSB, she chaired the Community Affairs Board and started and co-led a Brownie troop for girls in underserved areas of Santa Barbara.

She received a master's degree in college student development from the Ohio State University. Prior to coming to Stanford, she worked with returning adult students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and as a career counselor and founding director of the Women’s Center at Santa Clara University.

Jackie came to Stanford to pursue a doctoral degree in educational policy and, as a graduate student, found her true passion when she began working as a graduate research assistant at the Public Service Center, which became the Haas Center. She never looked back and spent a fulfilling 22 years with the center. Initially, she was responsible for evaluation and then moved into building the infrastructure for student development, group advising and leadership programs. She directed the Public Service Scholars program and served as associate director and interim executive director before leaving the center in June 2009 to spend a sabbatical year traveling and working internationally.

Now, Jackie supports the work of the center as a senior advisor. In addition, she is an educational consultant and trainer, and professor of practice (Community Engagement) at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University.

Bruce Sievers

Bruce Sievers

Visiting Scholar
Room 113, (650) 724–3706

Bruce Sievers ‘63 (International Relations; MA '66, PhD '73, Political Science) has been a Visiting Scholar at the Haas Center since 2002.  He also serves as Visiting Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, which he helped establish in 2006. Bruce teaches the undergraduate course Theories of Civil Society, Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector and advises philanthropy fellows and other students on the field. During his tenure at the Haas Center, he has authored two books: Civil Society, Philanthropy and the Fate of the Commons and Stanford Conversations in Philanthropy.

A former Fulbright Scholar at the Freie Universität in Berlin, Seivers served as the founding Chief Executive Officer of the California Council for the Humanities from 1974 to 1983 and as Executive Director of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund from 1983 to 2002. He served on the Council on Foundations Board of Directors and as Chair of Northern California Grantmakers. Sievers holds a Senior Fellow position with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, is Consulting Director of the Skirball Foundation, and serves as Treasurer of the national Fulbright Association.


Lyn Wyman

Lyn Wyman, '71

Senior Advisor for Communication and History

Lyn grew up in Salinas, California and, following in the footsteps of John Steinbeck, attended Stanford. (Unlike Mr. Steinbeck, she managed to earn her BA in English, while he only went on to earn a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize.) Lyn worked locally on national political campaigns and in several women's health organizations and then returned to school at Santa Clara University (SCU) where she earned a master's in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. She obtained her MFCC license and worked for 10 years at Counseling Services and Programs at SCU. After a seven-year work hiatus (during which her two daughters were born) Lyn joined the Haas staff in 1996 as part-time communications assistant, primarily working on the production of annual and then biennial reports. She moved on to working as fellowship assistant for the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship and then editorial associate in External Relations. In 2013, Lyn became program associate for Community-Engaged Scholarship, now Community Engaged Learning and Research. She officially retired from the Haas Center in 2014, but has been unable to stay away. As senior advisor for communication and history (having had first-hand experience with Haas history for 18 years), she works on special projects.  

Lyn's husband is also retired after working as Director of Counseling Services at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont for 30 years. Her older daughter graduated from Tufts University with an international relations major and a music minor, and is working at Education Pioneers in Oakland. Her younger daughter got her BA in Theatre and Speech at Wagner College in New York, lives in Brooklyn, and auditions every chance she gets. Both girls have been involved in performing vocal music and musical theater since they were little; consequently, Lyn has spent a lot of time backstage and "in the house." Other interests include politics, poetry, movies, food, and travel—not necessarily in that order. Lyn's public service experience ranges from leading Girl Scout troops to precinct walking and lots of things in-between. She considers herself fortunate for many reasons, not the least of which is working at the Haas Center, "the hub of Cardinal Service."