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Susan O'Connell, President (Officer of the Board)

Ze Sho Susan O’Connell currently serves on the Board of Directors as President of San Francisco Zen Center. Before being named president, she served on the board as vice president and before that as an elected member. She participates in the Development Committee and the People Policy Committee and is the chair of the Senior Living Facility Development Committee. She began Zen practice in 1987 and became a resident of Zen Center in 1995. She received priest ordination from Tenshin Reb Anderson in 1999 and was head monk (shuso) in 2004. She has lived at all three centers and served in a number of senior training positions. Susan graduated from UC Santa Barbara and UCLA in film and television and worked as a professional actress from 1967 to 1990. She has produced several films, including Tell Me A Riddle, and a movie for television and is a co-producer of A Confederacy of Dunces, now being developed at Paramount Pictures. She is a founder of Northern California Women in Film, a founding member of the Delta Psi chapter of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority at UC Santa Barbara, and a founding officer of No Abode Hermitage. She has served on the boards of Women in Film and Make-A-Circus. She has a son, who is a chef, and “two fabulous granddaughters” who live in Southern California.

“I deeply support the work that is being done to re-vitalize Zen Center's vision and am grateful for the energy and expertise put forth by those who serve on the Board of Directors...I offer my experience in negotiating the various paths at Zen Center, both as a person with a physical disability and as someone who loves and appreciates the responsibility of maintaining our three centers and helping extend Buddha's open hand to all people.”