Susanna Kempe (She/Her)

CEO, Laidlaw Foundation

About Susanna Kempe

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 Foundation, Susanna first learnt about its purpose and programmes before becoming its Chief Executive responsible for the Laidlaw Schools Trust, the Laidlaw Scholars and its other education programmes. Susanna read English and Philosophy at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has five half blues in swimming and water polo; and played netball and rowed for Newnham.

I am a/an:

Staff Member/Trustee of the Laidlaw Foundation

Research Topic

Business & Management Gender Studies

Area of Expertise

Coaching and Mentoring Diversity and Inclusion Entrepreneurship

Intro Content

Webinar Leadership

The Leadership Lab: Professor Dame Sally Mapstone DBE, FRSE

Dive into my eye-opening conversation with Professor Dame Sally Mapstone as we unpack her leadership journey, her daily mantra, and reveal the hardest decision she's ever had to make as a leader.

Influencer Of

Popular Content

Recent Conversations

Recent Comments

Nov 22, 2023
Replying to Rachel Clinton

I love this! I am so inspired by Linda words almost fail me… It’s taken me longer than most to get to college, but I feel that it was worth the wait to be learning at Trinity while Linda is Provost.

Yes, this is a “messy” time…. But where there is a mess there’s the opportunity to rearrange in a different and better way

There are so many points in this interview I could pick up on but to summarize - Although it can feel like we are living in dark times it brings light to my day to be here ( at Trinity ) now!

And light to Trinity that you are :).

I found it so fascinating that between 1592 and 1904 women weren't allowed in. 

If you haven't watched Linda's speech as the Kennedy Moonshot event, do. As always, she is totally inspiring.

Lord Laidlaw and I will be at Trinity on December 4th. Hope we have a chance to see you then.

Nov 06, 2023

President Paxson said this when we spoke together and I was so struck by both its wisdom and humility. A lot of people, and frankly the majority of leaders, have a tendency to tell people what to believe, often quite forcefully. I love the clarity of her purpose in not doing that; particularly at a time when there is so much pressure for university leaders to make statements on geo-political issues. 

Oct 26, 2023

I hope you share this with Mr. Rumney @Thomas Williamson. I am sure he would be so pleased and proud. As you now know, being a teacher can be exhausting, and knowing that you have influenced someone's life who has gone on to do such fabulous things, and will indubitably do even more, will be a tonic for his soul. Plus everyone likes recognition!

Oct 26, 2023

Voted! Good luck! This is fantastic. 

Oct 26, 2023

I absolutely loved meeting you Adrian and hearing all about your research. I can't wait to read the final results. This is such an important and under researched subject. I have high hopes that what you discover in the football context will also provide insights into other sports.

Oct 06, 2023

It was so great to meet you Ernest. Thank you for the fabulous (and fast!) tour of the campus. Your research into colorectal polyps was absolutely fascinating. I have never heard of Dr. Jian Yang's conceit before and it is of course perfect - that is exactly what we means when we talk about developing wisdom seekers. Looking forward to seeing you again in Dublin.

Sep 20, 2023

Congratulations @Christopher Cullen , @Zachary Walker and everyone at @University College London - wonderful achievement!

Sep 15, 2023

Wonderful video @Joel Beckles . Thanks so much for sharing. Hope the Red Sox won! If you are interested in Physics summer camps you might want to check out @Ella Burkett and @Luke Rabbitte may be able to tell you more about it/ provide intros. it is a great programme in Dublin founded by physicists from Trinity. I think it would be amazing to replicate the programme at St. Andrews and other university cities.


Online Elsewhere