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Stephanie Cooper-Lewter    

Executive Director, Financial Security CLT

Community-engaged, relationship-focused executive leader, Dr. Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter (she/her/hers) uplifts, connects, inspires & builds alongside her community. With over twenty five years of experience in nonprofit, philanthropic, social service, health & education sectors, she leads with vision strategically advancing mission effectiveness to achieve greater impact. She has degrees in social work (BSW, MSW , PhD) & certification in personal & executive coaching through the Coaching & Positive Psychology Institute (CaPP). Formerly President/CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia and later Vice President of Initiatives & Public Policy at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, she most recently served as the Inaugural Executive Director of Leading on Opportunity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Her expertise includes philanthropy, child welfare & adoption, poverty, resilience, health, diversity, equity, inclusion, immigration & acculturation, education, mentoring, organizational leadership & change, personal & executive coaching, along with women’s well-being. She taught over nearly a decade hundreds of social work students as an adjunct faculty member at Benedict College, Columbia College & the University of South Carolina. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on the life stories & identity journeys of women adopted transracially & transnationally as children.

She serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Council of Foundations, and preciously served on Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. She received the 2017 Alumna of the Year Award from the University of South Carolina College of Social Work, the 2018 International Women’s Day - Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network SC Trailblazers Award, and the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development.

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