Susan Broderick

Travels from Washington, D.C

As a woman in long-term recovery, and a respected professional in criminal justice, Susan speaks about her own experiences in recovery to help others in and out of the justice systems. 

General Topics







While Susan’s professional life has centered on the justice systems, her personal life has been a journey in which she has experienced first-hand most of the topics that she now works on. Susan’s experiences growing up in a family where alcoholism was present and her own struggle with alcohol gives her unique insight into the issues that many others “experts” have only studied.

Susan’s expertise and wisdom are unique and multifaceted. She has not only worked on the front lines dealing with the problems of substance use disorders in the child welfare, juvenile and criminal justice systems, but she has also spent the last several years studying what works and what doesn’t at one of the most prestigious universities in the nation.  Most importantly, Susan Broderick has lived through these issues. She has a perspective that gives her tremendous credibility when she speaks and allows her to bring a message of hope to those in the justice systems, in academia and with the millions of people whose lives have been affected by addiction.

Susan started her career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, where she served from 1989 until 2003.  During that time, she was assigned to the Trial Division, where she handled Domestic Violence and Homicide cases and was also a member of the Sex Crimes Unit.  In 2000, she was appointed Deputy Bureau Chief of the Family Violence and Child Abuse Bureau.  As Deputy Chief, she supervised a unit of senior level attorneys on all aspects of child abuse prosecutions. Susan also lectured extensively throughout the community and trained members of the New York City Police Department on Child Abuse and Child Fatalities.  She was a member of the Mayor's Child Abuse Task Force, the New York City Network on Abuse and Neglect, the New State Sexual Assault Legislative Subcommittee and the Mayor's Abandoned Infant Protection Act Subcommittee.

In 2003, Susan joined the staff at the National District Attorney's Association's National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse.  She served as a Senior Attorney until September of 2006, when she was appointed Director of the Juvenile Justice Program.  In June of 2006, she was named Interim Director of American Prosecutors Research Institute, National District Attorney's Association's Research and Development Division

Currently the Project Director at Georgetown University’s newly created National Juvenile Justice Prosecution Center, Susan now provides training and technical assistance to prosecutors and other professionals in the juvenile justice system. Prior to this position, Susan spent the past six years at Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, where her work focused on supporting the active participation of prosecutors in the MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change Initiative.

She serves on the Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Recovery Research Institute and is Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Phoenix Multisport, a non-profit organization that promotes a sober active lifestyle. Susan was an Associate Producer of “The Anonymous People”, a feature documentary about the 23 million people in recovery in the United States that has contributed to changing the national drug policy conversation.

Susan lectures and conducts training throughout the country on the role of the prosecutor. She has published numerous articles on the role of the prosecutor in the prevention, early intervention and re-entry efforts and is a contributing author to “The Diversion Guidebook” published by the MacArthur Foundation. Susan serves on the Advisory Board for the Reclaiming Futures Initiative, which is focused on youth with substance use issues and has served on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Juvenile Justice Initiative.

I think one of the biggest challenges is that the concept of recovery still remains a mystery for so many in the justice systems.
— Susan Broderick