SPOTLIGHT: SALLY SUSMAN
Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Pfizer Inc.
Whether moving through the executive suites of Corporate America, working the corridors of power in Washington or Brussels, or leading a humanitarian relief mission in Africa, Sally Susman is equally at home. The New Yorker is known for influencing change and shaping public opinion in whatever arena she enters.
Business. As Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer, Susman leads reputation management and directs the company’s communications, public affairs and philanthropic activities around the world. As Vice Chair of the Pfizer Foundation, she oversees global public health initiatives and, as one of the longest-serving members of the health care company’s Executive Leadership Team, plays a key role in shaping corporate policies.
Currently, Susman serves on the board of WPP, the UK-based global advertising and marketing company.
When she joined Pfizer in 2007, Susman brought an extensive portfolio in business, government and communications. For the seven years prior, she was Executive Vice President of Global Communications at The Estee Lauder Companies, leading corporate affairs for 28 brands. Between 1990 and 2000, she held several high-level communications and government relations roles at American Express, including a posting in London with responsibility for all of Europe.
Civic. Public service has long been ingrained in Susman’s life. During eight years in government service, she focused on international trade issues – first, as Legislative Assistant for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (1984-1990); and later, as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S Department of Commerce (1993-1995).
In electoral politics, Susman has served on the Finance Committee of the Democratic National Committee. In 2013, she was Finance Chair for New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s mayoral bid. Among many philanthropic endeavors, she is currently on the boards of the International Rescue Committee and the New York Botanical Garden, and has been previously active on the board of the U.S. Library of Congress.
Influencer. Whether advocating for social justice or economic reforms, Susman can be found at the center of thoughtful discussion. Recently named by PRWeek as one of “The 20 Most Influential Communicators” of the past two decades, she was described as “the epitome of the modern CCO (Chief Communications Officer).” In 2018, Susman also was placed on City & State’s inaugural “New York Women’s Power 100” list. A LinkedIn Influencer since June 2018, she is a frequent commentator in newspapers, magazines and broadcast programs.
Susman holds a B.A. in government from Connecticut College and has studied at the London School of Economics.
She and her wife, Robin, and their daughter, Lily, live in New York City and Sag Harbor, NY.