Susan Smith Kuczmarski, Ed.D. has the pulse on today’s families. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she has extensively researched how children learn social skills and how teens become leaders. Her speeches, seminars, research and teaching have made her a leading expert on the dynamics of family culture, bonding, teens and leadership.
Dr. Kuczmarski currently teaches leadership courses to educators and executives at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and entrepreneurship to pre-collegiate teens at Loyola University in Chicago. Her teaching reflects her passion for service, knowing self, finding common ground, letting creativity reign and rooting for others. During the course of a career that spans more than three decades, she has taught at eight universities, worked in three nonprofit educational organizations, including the United Nations, and co-founded an innovation consulting firm, Kuczmarski Innovation, in Chicago.
She is the author of five books, three on families and two on leadership. Becoming A Happy Family: Pathways to the Family Soul (Book Ends Publishing, 2015) looks at the family happiness puzzle, offers six “vitamins” to strengthen the family soul, and ten tangible tools to help families think and do differently.In 2012, Deepak Chopra wrote the Foreword to the Second Edition of Apples Are Square: Thinking Differently About Leadership (Kaplan Publishing, 2007). It received the coveted “2007 Best Business Book Award” from Fast Company Magazine and has been printed in multiple languages, with editions in China, Taiwan and Korea. The book champions six innovative leadership qualities—humility, transparency, compassion, inclusiveness, collaboration and values-based decisiveness. The Sacred Flight of the Teenager: A Parent’s Guide to Stepping Back and Letting Go (Book Ends Publishing, 2003)received the prestigious “Seal of Approval” award from the National Parenting Center and a “Book of the Year Award” from ForeWord Magazine. To encourage family relationship building, she wrote The Family Bond: Inspiring Tips for Creating a Closer Family (McGraw-Hill, 2000). It is a right-brain guide to creating a family atmosphere in which love can thrive. Her first book, Values-Based Leadership (Prentice Hall, l995), pioneered the expression of personal values in the workplace.
Dr. Kuczmarski speaks to parents, leaders and educators. She holds a Doctorate in Education and two master’s degrees from Columbia University in New York City, where she was named an International Fellow, and an undergraduate degree from Colorado College, where she has returned to teach leadership. She is a regular radio and television guest, devoted to issues of the contemporary family. Dr. Kuczmarski has appeared on the Today Show, is widely quoted in print across the country, and has been listed in Who’s Who in the World for 12 years.She was selected for inclusion in Outstanding People of the 21st Century, 500 Leaders of World Influence, 2000 Outstanding Writers of the 20th Century, and Great Minds of the 21st Century. She currently serves as the chairman of the trustees of the Chicago City Day School.
Susan lives in Chicago with her husband and partner in life, Tom Kuczmarski. They have three adult sons.