Executive leadership

From just a couple staff members and a doctor with a vision, we have grown to be the largest PKD patient advocacy organization in the world. Located in Kansas City, we are run by a dedicated staff proud to be the voice for the millions of people impacted by polycystic kidney disease.

Susan Bushnell

Chief Executive officer
Susan is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of experience leading strategic initiatives and programs at national, regional and local levels for nonprofit organizations. She has an extensive track record as a leader focused on building and empowering high-performing teams with an ability to synthesize the cross-departmental needs of organizations for mission funding, galvanizing supporters, and growing revenue. Prior to joining the PKD Foundation, Susan served as the vice president of development operations at JDRF International, overseeing revenue growth and resource development across core fundraising programs. In addition to JDRF International, she has also served in various leadership roles for March of Dimes, Autism Speaks, and the American Cancer Society. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in Media Communications from Webster University – St. Louis.

Carmen Gleason

Chief operating officer

Carmen is an executive leader with over 15 years’ experience driving operational success. As a pioneering and practical self-starter recognized for delivering excellence, she has an extensive history in building and sustaining effective internal and external relationships. Prior to PKD Foundation, Carmen served as the COO for Girl Scouts where she was recognized for her strong business judgment and customer centric focus. She is passionate about developing high performing teams through coaching and mentorship in an environment that fosters diverse thought and robust problem solving. Carmen holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Keller Graduate School.

Page last reviewed May 2023

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