Susan Thornton, PsyD, MBA

Susan Thornton is an Alliance Partner with Leadership Development Worldwide, LLC, operating in the Seattle area. In her work, she helps top executives and leadership teams leverage talent to accomplish a wide range of strategic objectives. Susan is known for her emphasis on achieving business goals; providing insight into complex dynamics at the individual, group, and organizational levels; and her direct and supportive style.

Past and current clients range from large multinational Fortune 100 companies to entrepreneurial startups and span a variety of industries including technology, finance, law, biotechnology, manufacturing, retail, and insurance. Specific projects have included assessing, recommending, and coaching the new CEO of a multibillion-dollar corporation; helping the new leadership team at a manufacturing company achieve aggressive growth targets by coaching individual leaders to scale to larger roles and facilitating team sessions to improve decision making; and co-creating a customized accelerated-development program for high-potential leaders at another multibillion-dollar company.

Before founding Thornton Leadership Advisory in 2020, Susan spent ten years as a senior consultant and client manager at leadership-consulting firms RHR International and Leadership Development Worldwide. In these roles, she conducted board evaluations, completed CEO succession engagements, advised CEOs and other senior leaders, designed and facilitated team development and coaching sessions, assessed and developed high potentials, and developed and facilitated leadership trainings for on talent acquisition and coaching for development. Over the course of her career, Susan has conducted hundreds of rigorous, multi-method assessments for selection and development and hundreds of coaching engagements.

Susan simultaneously earned her PsyD in clinical psychology and MBA from Widener University in Pennsylvania with an additional concentration in school psychology. Her dissertation explored best practices for coaching women leaders. Outside of work, Susan is an active wife, stepmother, friend, and animal lover. She recently served as chair of the Seattle board for Upwardly Global, a national organization that helps immigrants and refugees resume their professional careers in the U.S. She is also pursuing a long-time dream of developing a program that combines equine facilitated leadership development (in the form of executive and team development retreats), equine-assisted therapy, and horse rescue and rehabilitation.