Louis B. Susman’s long and varied career in both the private and public sectors is a testament to his wide-ranging, life-long interests, expertise and professional experience.
A former lawyer and banker, Mr. Susman was U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s from 2009 to 2013. From 2012 to 2017 he continued to play a role on the international stage as an active member of the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.
Prior to his appointment by President Obama, Mr. Susman was vice chairman of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking and a member of the Citigroup International Advisory Board. Upon joining Salomon Brothers in 1989, he played an integral role in several major mergers, including Dayton Hudson’s purchase of Marshall Field’s and LG Electronics’ acquisition of Zenith Electronics Corporation. A former partner at the law firm of Thompson & Mitchell in St. Louis, he practiced law there for 27 years and was on the board of directors of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1975 to 1989.
Today, Mr. Susman is an advisor to Henry Crown & Co. and chairman of CBI Holdings, L.P., a wholly-owned subsidiary of BDT Capital Partners.
In addition, he is a member of the board of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Vice Chairman of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, chairman of the board of London-based Fait Accompli, a member of the advisory board of Atlas Merchant Capital, a member of the Holdingham International Advisory Board and a member of the Council of American Ambassadors. He is also the chairman of the Chicago Architecture Biennial for 2015.
In 2017 Mr. Susman was appointed by President Obama to the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Mr. Susman has long been active in the public sector. In 1988 he was appointed by President Reagan to the U. S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which provided oversight to the U.S. Information Agency, and served as a director of the Center for National Policy, a nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C., that examines national public policy issues.
He is a life trustee of The Art Institute of Chicago, member of the board of Lurie Children’s Hospital, and a member of the International Council of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University in St. Louis.
Active in the political arena in the U.S. for many years, as well, Mr. Susman was a senior advisor to President Obama’s campaign and was the national finance chairman for Senator Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.
Mr. Susman received his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1959 and his LL.B. from Washington University in 1962, as well as an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Connecticut College in 2012.
He and his wife Marjorie have two children and three grandchildren.