Susanna joins the Irvine Laidlaw Foundation from running her own boutique consulting firm Flying Trumpets. Prior to this, she was the Group Content and Marketing Partner at the critical issues advisory firm, Brunswick Group. Previously, Susanna held leadership positions in international B2B businesses including as CMO of Informa Plc and CEO of WGSN.
Lord Laidlaw said “We are delighted to welcome Susanna. She brings with her a wealth of leadership experience, business transformation skills and an unwavering focus on results. It is not enough for the Foundation to spend money as planned and deliver on a promised programme. What matters is whether the client’s life is changed.”
Susanna Kempe said: “The work that the Irvine Laidlaw Foundation does, investing in the education of the underprivileged and underrepresented in society around the world, is so important. I am both honoured and truly humbled to be asked to be its Chief Executive. I look forward to working with Lord Laidlaw to realise his vision and change lives.”
About Susanna Kempe
Susanna is a German American Brit with over 15 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in international B2B and learning businesses.
She began her career in conferences at the Institute for International Research (IIR) where she first worked with Lord Laidlaw. At the time of the sale of IIR to Informa, she was its CMO. Susanna was to go on to be CMO of Informa Plc, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of Emap Ltd, CEO of Emap Networks, CEO of WGSN and Group Content and Marketing Partner of Brunswick Group.
Susanna has been involved with education and professional development throughout her career. 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 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 committed to decency, truthfulness, and innovation.
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 School Trust, the Laidlaw Scholars and its other education programmes.
Susanna holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge where she read English and Philosophy. While there, she spent a lot of time either on and or in the water. She rowed for her college, Newnham, and has five half blues in swimming and water polo.
About the Irvine Laidlaw Foundation
The Irvine Laidlaw Foundation invests in the education of the underprivileged and underrepresented in order to break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequality and develop a new generation of leaders.
The Foundation currently supports the Laidlaw Schools Trust, a growing multi academy trust in the North East of England, serving children and families in the west of Newcastle and in Pennywell, Sunderland; funds the Laidlaw Scholars, an international programme supporting undergraduates in 14 universities around the world, designed to develop a new generation of diverse, passionate and committed leaders; and enables the Columbia Business School Scholars initiative to help more women gain their MBAs. To date the Foundation has assisted more than 230 women to enrol in the business school. The Foundation has funded the Laidlaw Music Centre at the University of St. Andrews, built the Laidlaw Library at Leeds University and is exploring new campus spaces which bring together academics and entrepreneurs.