Susan Tonassi

Senior Associate, Global

Susan Tonassi joined Burness as an Associate in October 2012. A member of the Global team, she edits and writes press releases, blogs, and other written products and carries out media outreach campaigns around the world. She has secured placements for clients in diverse outlets, including the Associated Press, The Atlantic, Time, and National Public Radio.

She comes to Burness from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), where she worked as a communications specialist in the Environment and Production Technology Division and a web communications specialist in the Communications Division. Working closely with CGIAR researchers made her fluent in hot-topic agricultural issues—from biofuels and GMOs to climate change and desertification. She organized IFPRI’s communications work at international conferences and also blogged prolifically for the organization.

Susan started out as a reporter and writer. After graduating from Boston University with a journalism degree, she covered economics for the Washington, DC bureau of the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s largest daily newspaper. She spent a year in Germany as a Fulbright Young Professional Journalist, which gave her the opportunity to work at Deutsche Welle and other German outlets.

Her stint in Germany inspired her to earn a Master’s in German and European Studies at Georgetown University. Since then, she has split her time between Washington, DC and Germany, where she has worked as a freelance writer and editor in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Among other projects, she wrote an 800-page travel guide to Germany.