Stephanie Cooper-Lewter, Senior Research Director
P. 803 254 0230 EXT. 24
Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter serves as Senior Research Director for the Foundation. In this position, she is responsible for research and evaluation efforts of the Foundation, identifies and shares best practices. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2009, Dr. Cooper-Lewter had been a part of the Foundationís family in a variety of capacities providing her with a unique perspective of the depth and breadth of the Foundationís work. She was introduced to the Foundation in 2001 as a Research Associate through the University of South Carolina and worked directly with the Foundationís Fatherhood Initiative. Her interactions later evolved into other roles including serving as a foundation grantee, external grant reviewer, technical assistance consultant, workshop facilitator and faculty member of the Learning Academy (now Carolina Academy).
Dr. Cooper-Lewter is a Licensed Master Social Work professional with nearly twenty years of experience across the nonprofit, social service, health, educational and philanthropic sector. Her direct practice experiences have addressed a range of family and child welfare issues including poverty, child abuse and neglect, foster care, Indian Child Welfare, youth development, mentoring, diversity, immigration and acculturation issues, crisis intervention, as well as school and medical social work. She also previously served as President/CEO of the Columbia affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Dr. Cooper-Lewter holds a doctorate in Social Work from the University of South Carolina as a Council on Social Work Minority Clinical Fellow, and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Minnesota as a Child Welfare Scholar. Dr. Cooper-Lewter is a 2010-2011 Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF) Hull Fellow Alumni, and currently serves as part of SECFís Hull Leadership Team. She participates in the South Carolina Grantmakers Network, and is a member of the American Evaluation Association.
Adopted as a toddler from Mother Teresaís Missionaries of Charity orphanage in India to the United States, Dr. Cooper-Lewter is married and has two children. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, along with writing, teaching, coaching and traveling.