SkillUp Washington Staff

Susan Crane, Executive Director

Susan Crane joined  SkillUp Washington as Executive Director in 2010. Under her leadership, SkillUp received the Systems Change Award from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions in 2013, and the Exemplary Collaborative Award in 2014.

For the prior 13 years, Ms. Crane served as Executive Director of Port Jobs. Under her leadership, Port Jobs created the Airport Jobs Center at Sea-Tac International Airport, Airport University, the Financial Tools for the Trades Program and Working Wheels.  In 2003, Port Jobs received the Governor’s Best Practice Award in Workforce Development.

Ms. Crane previously worked as a Supervising Analyst and policy analyst for the Seattle City Council, focusing on public safety, labor policy, personnel, and housing and human services.   She served as the public member of the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council from 1999-2013, and is a member of the Adult Education Advisory Council (AEAC) of the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.

Ms. Crane serves on the Leadership Council of the National Skills Coalition and is a founding member of the National Network of Sector Partners.  She holds a master’s degree in public administration from Seattle University and is an alumna of Harvard University’s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.


Chris Pierson, Program Manager

Chris joined SkillUp in 2011 after working at a variety of non-profit organizations in the greater Seattle area. Chris brings over ten years of experience in workforce development programming and has held management positions at the YWCA of Seattle, King County and Snohomish County overseeing programs targeting homeless young adults and young parents. Chris holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and a bachelor’s degree in history from Ohio University.  He is also an Aspen Institute Marano Fellow and recently completed Aspen’s Train the Trainer for facilitating local Sector Skills Academies.

Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Chris has lived in Seattle for close to fifteen years. He is an avid hiker, camper, snowboarder and musician. Chris and his wife live in Seattle’s Central District with their two small children.


Krishna Richardson-Daniels, Communications & Operations Manager

Krishna joined SkillUp Washington in 2015, bringing with her, experience in the realm of education, nonprofit and global health. With over twelve years of experience working in the field of public health (locally and globally), Krishna has an array of skill sets that derive from her volunteer and work experience around the globe. Although, Krishna has focused her trajectory on health-related work in previous years, she is not limited to supporting SkillUp’s mission to increase educational and economic opportunities for low-skilled and low-income adults.

Born and raised in Seattle, Krishna earned her master’s degree in public health from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.  She possesses and exudes a witty, yet charismatic nature, and skilled at community-building with strong communication and organizational skills, and a passion for, and commitment to working with people to provide services and support to those in need. She is active in volunteering for College Success Foundation and Powerful Voices which fosters adolescent girls’ development, as well as being a licensed foster parent to adolescence, alongside her husband.