Susan is a leadership coach, facilitator and educator. She brings a wealth of business experience and leadership insights to people who seek to create more value for their people, their organizations and stakeholders.
Susan spent 20 years in leadership roles at Fortune 100 companies including Citibank, Honeywell and Merck & Co. Her responsibilities included leadership and organization development, talent management, succession planning and management of enterprise-wide change initiatives.
In 2006 she was asked to relocate to Belgium and join a member-based global association as their first Chief HR Officer. There she worked with the CEO as a member of the Leadership Team before starting her own business working with association leaders and their teams during critical transitions.
Susan is a member of the Executive Education adjunct faculty at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management where she teaches Leadership & Change in the Executive Master in International Association Management.
She is a keynote speaker and guest lecturer at international congresses on a range of leadership topics. Born in New York, she is based in Brussels and works with clients internationally.
Non-profit Associations and Memberships
Ambassador & Mentor, MizBiz Belgium
Interviewer, Princeton University Alumni Schools Committee
Member, Princeton Women’s Network
Member, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation

Susan West

1. Why are you investing your time & expertise in (an) association(s) and its advancement?

As a leadership coach and former CHRO in a global association, I believe professionals in associations deserve to have the same high quality leadership development afforded to corporations with much greater resources to invest in their people. We might not read about the work of associations as much as other organizations, but their strategic role and impact are very far-reaching.

2. In your experience, what are the 3 success factors for advancing associations?

A passion for delivering high quality results over the long-term, continuous professional development of leadership and the capacity to influence and collaborate across a wide range of stakeholders.

3. Has the AM world changed when it comes to diversity and inclusion?

The way I see it , the rate of change and complexity in the association eco-system has risen so fast the last decade, it is a necessity to involve a very diverse group of talented people. We’ve better over time in that regard. I think we still have a ways to go on the inclusion front to ensure all our diverse talent can show up, be valued as they are and contribute their best.

4. What advice would you give the next generation of association leaders who want to make an impact?

With business and leadership changing so quickly, you need to think in terms of « future proofing » yourself. I’ve had the pleasure to work with numerous leaders in the Executive Master in International Association Management at Solvay here in Brussels and I think continuous learning is non-negotiable. It may sound predictable, but stay curious and humble. Develop your expertise and at the same time constantly learn from others inside and outside your association. Ask them their point of view, how they came to their conclusions and why it matters. The more we share openly our collective knowledge and productively debate the differences, the more likely the best ideas will get surfaced and win.