Director Profile

Dr. Susan Black MBA PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer The Conference Board of Canada

Board Value Proposition: 

Organizational Transformation, Best-in-Class People Practices, Evidence-Based Management Practices

  • Reorganized recrutiment function at Holt Renfrew to improve yield and ensure better employee experience, and established executive on-boarding program.
  • Transformed key organizational programs at Intact Financial, improving company engagement by adopting a more sophisticated, data-based approach to measuring engagement, focusing on key drivers.
  • Within two years at Intact, launched new rewards and recognition program, new performance-management program (including new incentive plan), a diversity program, and a CSR program; saw significant increase in engagement as a result. 
  • Successfully managed people aspect of separation from ING Groep by leading smooth and cost-effective transition of all human resources policies, programs, and services resulting from ING Canada’s transition to Intact, following the sale of ING Groep’s 70% ownership in ING Canada to the public market in February 2009. 

Business Development, Communication

  • Founded and established leading nonprofit, Catalyst Canada, a research and advisory organization dedicated to helping Canadian companies better recruit, develop, and retain women in management.
  • As President, led Catalyst Canada to become the go-to organization for leading thinking and action on gender diversity in Canada by actively advising member companies on diversity programs and releasing ground-breaking research studies; achieved seven figures in annual revenue with consistent positive cash flow.

Industry Experience: 

  • Commercial & Professional Services
  • Research & Consulting Services
  • Diversified Financials
  • Retailing

International Experience: 

  • North America

Board Experience:

Corporate Boards:

Gore Mutual Insurance Company 2014 to Present
Pension Committee
Investment Committee
Human Resources and Governance Committee
Chair, Chair Succession Committee (Past)

Additional Boards:

York University 2009 to 2016
Chair, Pension Investment Trust
Chair, Governance and Human Resources Committee
Executive Committee
North York General Hospital 2006 to 2008
Quality Committee
Metro Toronto Housing Authority 1997 to 2000
Supplier Award Committee
Ontario Housing Corporation 1995 to 2000
Chair, Finance Committee
Audit Committee, Information Technology Committee


The Conference Board of Canada 2018 to Present
President and Chief Executive Officer
Holt Renfrew and Company 2016 to 2018
Senior Vice President, People
Crossbar Group Inc. 2012 to 2016
Managing Director
Intact Financial Corporation 2008 to 2011
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning
Management Consultant 2006 to 2008
Practice focused on organization development, change management, human resources, diversity management, quantitative and qualitative research
Catalyst Canada 2000 to 2006
Acting Vice President, Research
Management Consultant 1992 to 2000


PhD (Organization Studies), York University, 2000
MBA, Harvard Business School, 1998
BA, Yale University, 1981