Susan Elks, AICP is the Program Manager for Balancing Nature and Commerce with The Conservation Fund. Through her work, she advances collaborative planning and placemaking that balances conservation and economic opportunity and builds lasting results for vibrant communities and their environmental and cultural assets. Susan previously served as Community Planning Director for Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she engaged with diverse stakeholders, facilitated processes and consensus-building, and led the development of implementable planning documents. Susan is a Scholar in the Rural-Urban Leadership program of Penn State Extension, a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program, and has completed extensive training in mediation and facilitation. She holds a Master’s in Geography from West Chester University, a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, and is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners.