Gov. Gregoire appoints Susan Sharpe to WWU Board of Trustees

Gov. Chris Gregoire has appointed Susan Sharpe, executive director of the St. Luke’s Foundation, to Western Washington University’s Board of Trustees.

“We welcome Susan Sharpe to the Board of Trustees. She is widely recognized for her strong commitment to the health and well-being of our community and state, and will bring substantial expertise and leadership to the board,” Western President Bruce Shepard said.

Sharpe’s new term began Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2018.

“Our future is shaped by investments we make today in the health and education of the next generation. As an alumna, I am particularly grateful for this opportunity to serve and support the Western leadership team in their commitment to a quality and accessible higher education experience," Sharpe said.

Since 2008, Sharpe has been executive director of the St. Luke’s Foundation, a public award-winning foundation that supports local health-related projects and education in Whatcom County. Sharpe has extensive prior experience working as a consultant to numerous non-profit and health care organizations. She was facilitator for development of the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access and served as interim director of the Whatcom Community Foundation. Before consulting, she was a health care planner and hospital manager and executive at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham for almost 19 years.

Sharpe is actively involved with many local and area community and professional organizations, including as a board member of the Northwest Economic Development Council, as member and former president of the Bellingham Bay Rotary, as chair of the WAHA “Transforming Healthcare in Whatcom County” Steering Committee, and as a past member of the Washington State Health Insurance Partnership Board.

She was co-chair of the Office of Insurance Commissioner Healthcare Reform Realization Committee and past chair of Communities Connect, a statewide association of community based health care collaboratives. In addition, she co-chaired the successful Bellingham School District bond and levy campaign to rebuild Bellingham High School in the 1990s. She was inducted into the Northwest Women’s Hall of Fame in 2004.

Sharpe has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Journalism and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Western. She is married to former Western trustee and local attorney Phil Sharpe. They have two daughters.