Suzanne M. Burns is a member of the firm’s Board, CEO, Industrial, Private Equity and Digital Transformation practices. A trusted adviser to public and private company CEOs and board nominating and governance committees as they seek to develop winning, executable courses of action, Suzanne is known for her ability to see the threads of opportunity that wind through an organization, bring them together in a cohesive design, and broaden thinking in the process. She is a sought-after expert on board best practices, CEO succession planning, organizational and cultural alignment, and increasing diversity to drive shareholder value.

Trusted Board and C-Suite Adviser

  • At Spencer Stuart, Suzanne devotes her time to advising global clients on board and C-suite talent selection, cultural transformation, and board effectiveness to increase diversity and competitiveness. She also leads the firm’s B2B distribution and building and architectural product teams.
  • Suzanne serves manufacturing and distribution clients around the world, bringing more than 25 years of industrial experience in the areas of P&L leadership and strategic growth leadership. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, she was chief talent officer for W. W. Grainger, a global MRO distributor. She also led Grainger’s supply chain and distribution center integration of previously acquired businesses into a new U.S. omni-channel business model.
  • Previously, she was president of Fluid Management, a subsidiary of IDEX Corporation, where she launched IoT-enabled digital predictive diagnostic technology into DIY big-box channels.
  • During her 17 years at Eaton, she served as president of the global power quality business, oversaw the integration of Aeroquip-Vickers, and headed Eaton’s global expansion by establishing 15 start-up investments in Asia and Latin America.
  • Suzanne currently serves on the board of directors of Benco Dental, a leading global dental equipment distributor.

Suzanne actively volunteers her time for a variety of non-profit organizations. She serves on the boards of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital Foundation, and co-chairs the Chicago Chapter of Women Corporate Directors. She is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Chicago Network, The Chicago Club, and previously served on the boards of Communities In Schools of Chicago and Leadership Greater Chicago. For eight years, she represented Spencer Stuart on the America’s Board of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) and its diversity council. As a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, she stays abreast of the latest trends in corporate governance. Suzanne holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin and from Case Western Reserve University.

Practice Areas