Susan Black

President and Chief Executive Officer


Susan Black is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada’s leading independent applied research organization. Since 2018, she has led a successful transformation at The Conference Board of Canada and has focused its efforts on providing rigorous research insights to Canadians across nine Focus Areas.

At CBoC, we have a responsibility to inform Canadians. We have to equip them with integrated and independent research enabling them to tackle society’s greatest challenges. It is inspiring to lead a team of inquisitive, entrepreneurial and bright minds, whose insightful work has a meaningful impact on Canada’s future. I learn from them every single day.

Dr. Susan Black has received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from The Strategic Management Society for her decades of strategic work in private, public and non-profit settings—from finance to insurance to retail to research. The Society is the preeminent professional society for the advancement of strategic management with member representation from 80 countries.

Past Work Experience

Susan has over 30 years experience across sectors and industries. As President of Catalyst Canada, CHRO at Intact Financial and SVP, People at Holt Renfrew, Susan has dedicated her career to advocating inclusive environments, stronger employee engagement, and opportunities for women in the workplace.

Academic Credentials


Academic Background

Bachelor of Art, Yale University
Master of Business Administration, Harvard University
Doctorate of Organizational Studies, York University


Get to Know Susan

What brought you to the Conference Board?

In my professional life I’m passionate about a couple of things—understanding the “why” and “how” that explain people’s decisions and behaviors, and helping people grow and get better at what they do. There’s a bit of the teacher in me. Leading the CBoC has been a way to do both of these things—in other words—taking a great research organization and make it even greater.

What impact do you hope to see from your work?

I hope our work helps people make smarter decisions. In today’s hyper-connected world it’s easy to give into our biases or be swayed by patently uninformed opinions, far and wide. I’d like to think that the evidence and analysis we provide fosters thoughtful conversations and more intelligent actions.

What do you do when you’re offline?

Spending time with my family is a big priority—I have a husband and two sons. I’m a voracious reader—everything from Harry Potter to Jack Reacher thrillers to Nomadland and Arrival City. And I’ll admit, guiltily, to occasionally binge watching Netflix. I’m not a fan of cold weather so when spring arrives I try to spend as much time outdoors as it possible, be it long walks, barbeques, reading on the deck.

Susan in the News & Media Appearances

Closing the Talent Gap

Our president and CEO Dr. Susan Black discussed our organization’s journey to being virtual-first amid the pandemic.

The Toronto Region Board of Trade   •   March 29, 2022

2023 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Susan Black

Strategic Management Society   •   2023

Canada’s Best Employers For Diversity

Forbes   •   July 11, 2023

Out of office …forever

DIRECTOR JOURNAL   •   August 9, 2022

How employers can navigate the new hybrid workplace

The Globe and Mail   •   March 23, 2022

To Overcome “Wicked Problems” Lean Into Inspirational Leadership

The Humphrey Group   •   March 10, 2022

Other News