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Susan  McPherson

Susan McPherson

Serial Connector, Cause-Marketer & Corporate Responsibility Expert


Susan McPherson is a serial connector, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focused on the intersection of brands and social impact, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises. She is the author of The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Relationships. Susan has 25+ years of experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications, speaking regularly at industry events including Inspirefest/Dublin, BSR, Center for Corporate Citizenship's Annual Summit, DLD and Techonomy., and contributing to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Forbes. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, USA Today, The New Yorker, New York Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Read More >

Currently, Susan invests in, and advises women-led technology start-ups, including: iFundWomen, Inc., Messy.fm, Our Place, The Riveter, Park Place Payments, Hint Water, Apolitical, Arlo Skye, Giapenta and The Muse. She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCR, The 19th News, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and serves on the advisory board of both The List and Alltruists. Additionally, she is a member of the MIT Solve Women and Technology Leadership Group and serves as an adviser to several nonprofits, including Girls Who Code, She’s The First, and The OpEd Project. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and has received numerous accolades for her voice on social media platforms from Fortune Magazine, Fast Company and Elle Magazine. She resides in Brooklyn. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Meet Susan McPherson

My Founder Story at Tom Tom Founder Festival

Welcome to the New CSR

The Lost Art of Connecting: A Fireside Chat with Susan McPherson

Speech Topics

The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships

Today, people have hundreds of ""friends"" on Facebook and countless ""contacts"" on LinkedIn, so why do so many of us feel disconnected? In The Lost Art of Connecting, Susan McPherson presents a paradigm shift for the way we make meaningful connections in business and in life. Read More >

While social media platforms make it easier for people to connect with those they want to reach, these interactions are often dehumanizing, feel transactional, and agenda-driven. McPherson explains that we need to go back to basics and connect in an entirely new way, using technology as a tool and not a means to an end. We need a paradigm shift: one in which we look for ways to answer “how can I help?” as well as an opportunity to shine the light on others. Her methodology is broken down into three simple steps: Gather, Ask, Do.

Shot through with equal doses of humor, humility, and encouragement, The Lost Art of Connecting is the handbook everyone needs to catapult their way to success through relationships. McPherson draws on her own experience starting a communications firm and cites stories of experts like Baratunde Thurston, Tiffany Dufu, Whitney Johnson and Adam Grant, who have spent their careers building meaningful connections into successful enterprises. Read Less ^

Making Connecting Your Life's Work

Susan McPherson owes her success to one thing: the deep, authentic community of contacts she's built over the years (she literally wrote the book on it!). In today's world, it's connections built on values and compassion, not impersonal networking, that drives sustainable success. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, what lessons can we take with us from over a year of connecting virtually? How can we approach connecting and reconnecting in a way that centers mission alignment and genuine relationships? Susan will share stories and practical tips about making deep and meaningful connections that power our businesses and our lives.

Welcome To The New Era of Corporate Social Impact

In the last two decades, we've seen corporate responsibility shift from a nice-to-have to a critical strategic priority. Along the way, big businesses—once seen as the enemies of social activists— have become activists themselves. In a world where nearly 8 in 10 employees expect their companies to act on social issues, what does authentic corporate social impact look like? Susan will give you the tools you need to navigate the risks and rewards of designing your approach to social impact.

How To Bake Impact Into Your Brand/Company From The Start

Every company, no matter the size or revenue, has the opportunity to engage stakeholders on a mission-driven level, driving customer and employee loyalty while helping to build a more just world. A holistic approach to impact goes beyond corporate philanthropy to consider DEI, E.S.G., advocacy work, and community. 

Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance (ESG)