ThinkFirst Announces Susan Crotty as New Executive Director


Naperville, IL — The ThinkFirst Injury Prevention Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan S. Crotty as the Executive Director of the nonprofit organization focused on preventing brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries through education, research and advocacy. Ms. Crotty, a proven forward-thinking leader in the nonprofit arena, began this role on November 1, 2019 at the headquarters in suburban Chicago.


“Addressing traumatic injuries and fatalities is a mission that I welcome and passionately embrace”  Ms. Crotty said, “I am committed to keeping people safe and look forward to working to reduce life altering traumatic injuries and fatalities across the nation.” Traumatic injury is a leading cause of death and disability among children, teens and adults. The most frequent causes are vehicle crashes, violence, falls and sports. Simple actions can greatly reduce our risk for injury, such as wearing a seat belt, driving safe, sober, and without distractions, wearing bike and sports helmets.


After a national search, Ms. Crotty was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors for the role. “Thanks to her 20+ years of experience leading and developing partnerships and her successful track record of working in both civic and corporate roles, she is a natural fit for ThinkFirst – an organization that educates, trains and advocates with the mission of preventing traumatic injury” said ThinkFirst Foundation Board Chair Dr. Uzma Samadani.


Ms. Crotty is actively involved in her community as well as the state and national level, dedicated to positively impacting the world. Previously, Ms. Crotty lead the grants, education and advocacy efforts on roadway safety for teens and parents for ThinkFirst. Prior to joining ThinkFirst Foundation, Crotty worked for National Safety Council for nearly five years, where she was tapped to spearhead a strategic initiative called the Road to Zero (RTZ), to eliminate roadway fatalities by 2050. In just two years, under her collaborative leadership RTZ grew to include over 800 organizations, publish a comprehensive national report with Rand Corporation outlining how to achieve zero roadway fatalities and oversaw $2.5 million in Federal Safe System Innovation grants.


Crotty is a graduate of Michigan State University, a certified Child Passenger Safety technician, Stop The Bleed trained, and a FEMA Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member. She served three terms for a total of 12 years as an elected official on the Naperville 203 Board of Education, stewarding nearly $3 billion during her tenure. She was a finalist for the Professional Women in Advocacy for Excellence in a Federal Issue Campaign in 2018 and won the Distinguished Service Award of Excellence from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association in 2017. In 2012, Crotty won the Influential Women in Business Award from the Daily Herald Business Ledger.




About ThinkFirst: The mission of ThinkFirst is to prevent brain, spinal cord and other traumatic injuries through education, research and advocacy. Founded by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons in 1986, the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, based in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, is an independent 501c3 charitable organization. For more information on ThinkFirst visit