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LANL Foundation boss retiring

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LOS ALAMOS – Susan Herrera, founding director of the 17-year-old Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, has announced she is retiring at the end of this year.

The foundation, which invests in education in seven northern New Mexico counties, has awarded more than $50 million in grants to public schools and nonprofits and today has an endowment of more than $70 million.

Herrera first managed the fledgling foundation from the trunk of her car. Today the foundation owns its own office space in Española.

During Herrera’s tenure, it inaugurated an Inquiry Science program, which teaches hands-on science in 11 school districts; has raised $4.5 million for college scholarships; and helped create a coalition of foundations to launch First Born home visiting programs for first-time families in 14 of counties.

“Through Susan’s passion and leadership, the Foundation has made a significant difference in the lives of thousands of children and young adults in New Mexico,” said Bill Wadt, chair of the LANL Foundation board of directors, who is leading a search team to find a replacement.

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