Suzanne M. Zaldivar, President Emeritus

SuzanneIn memoriam,

Our founder, Suzanne M. Zaldivar, born in Pasadena, CA, was a thought leader and seasoned organization and leadership development consultant as well as executive coach dedicated to helping leaders and organizations manage change and create effective and sustainable futures. She was a trusted resource for clients seeking to understand and better manage individual, organizational and cultural complexities.  Working with those who want to own the power and impact of their leadership, she worked with hundreds of executives & managers and consulted to dozens of organizations in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.  Clients are Fortune 50 multinationals, NGOs, supranationals, as well as small companies and governments.  Suzanne taught at two universities and held a masters degree in organization development.

Clients, including CEOs and other C-level executives, elected leaders and mid-level managers, consistently appreciate her ability to create a space where they can be safely challenged in order to productively explore issues and find practical solutions for themselves and their organizations.  Known for her warmth and humor, Suzanne helped clients feel at ease and comfortable tackling even the toughest issues.  Her efforts, combined with client commitment, have resulted in: increased capacity to proactively manage change in a sustainable way; measurably improved leadership capability; and systems more aligned and energized around vision and strategy.

In addition to her consulting work, Suzanne was adjunct professor at American University’s master’s program in Organization Development since 1997 and also served as adjunct faculty in the Department of Business at Trinity University. She coached Maryland state leaders, both elected and appointed, in the Rawlings Fellows Program within the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. Suzanne coached and taught within a highly acclaimed Power Of Self leadership development program designed exclusively for women.

Suzanne was certified in Multi-Track Diplomacy (international conflict facilitation) and facilitated community and organizational dialogue around the world. She worked in Kabul and other cities with the central and provincial governments in Afghanistan on several organization development projects funded by the US Agency for International Development & the United Nations Development Programme.  She engaged in highly successful mission-strengthening projects with the USAID offices in Bogotá, Colombia and Pristina, Kosovo and she designed and delivered a change management program to the World Health Organization in Burkina Faso, West Africa.  Earlier in her career, she was part of the team that pioneered comprehensive leadership development at the World Bank.

Her speaking credits include the annual FLOW Leadership Conference, the International Organization Development Association, the Intercultural Management Institute, the Women Presidents’ Organization, the World Future Society, and the Organization Development Network.  Suzanne has guest lectured at New York University, and her award-winning writing has been published in several respected journals.

She was President of the International OD Association, during 2016—2019, and played a key role in the design of the highly successful 2nd OD World Summit in 2015 in Portland, Oregon.

Suzanne received her BA in International Affairs from George Washington University and her MS in Organization Development from American University – both in Washington, DC.  In addition, she received her certification in Professional Coaching from the Hudson Institute.  Suzanne loved hiking, dancing, books of all kinds, and believed that when life offers a fork in the road, you should take the path that will give you a really good story.

After a long battle with cancer, Suzanne died on 25th June 2019; in Comus, MD; she was 57.
We miss her terribly!

Photo by Astrid Emond