Susanna is Chair of the Laidlaw Schools Trust and is committed to driving the change agenda to improve life chances for young people.
A graduate of Cambridge University, Susanna’s professional experience includes over 15 years in senior leadership roles in international B2B and learning businesses. Susanna began her career at the Institute for International Research (IIR) where she first worked with Lord Laidlaw, rising to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). When IIR, which was the world’s largest organiser of commercial conferences, was acquired by Informa plc in 2005 Susanna was appointed CMO of the enlarged group and also led the public company’s investor relations programmes. She subsequently joined Emap Ltd as Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer and CEO of Emap Networks, that group’s conferences business. Later she became CEO of the fashion industry forecaster WGSN and was latterly Group Content and Marketing Partner of the leading strategy consultancy Brunswick Group.
A German-American raised and educated in the UK and a committed internationalist, Susanna has been involved in globally trading businesses throughout her career, directing activity in the Americas, across continental Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Susanna has been extensively involved with education and professional development over many years. She was Head of Group Training and led the commercial acquisition and integration of a portfolio of corporate training businesses whilst at IIR; and created learning academies at both Informa and Emap. She believes experiencing and appreciating different cultures promotes better global understanding, creativity and leadership. She is passionate about the power of education to transform lives; and believes that we need to develop a new generation of diverse leaders who are curious, bold and devoted to decency, truthfulness, and innovation. Susanna is committed to diversity not only as a societal imperative but as a critical component of commercial success.
As an advisor to the trustees of the Laidlaw Foundation, Susanna first learnt about its purpose and programmes before becoming its Chief Executive responsible for the extensive charitable work of the foundation, which includes substantial awards to the Laidlaw Schools Trust, the Laidlaw Scholars and its other education programmes. She is delighted to be able to combine this role with serving as Chair of the Laidlaw Schools Trust.
Susanna read English and Philosophy at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has five half blues in swimming and water polo and rowed for Newnham.