Susan Suskin, Senior Vice President, Washington Client Services
What attracted you to Abacus?
I left my prior position at Booz Allen and did some independent work for a while, but it became increasingly urgent to find a steady way to pay my mortgage. I called an old Booz Allen friend who had also left Booz Allen to start his own consultancy — to see if he needed help. My friend didn’t need my help, but he suggested I call Dennis Yee (Abacus’ president). Dennis and I met for lunch and I explained that I was just looking for something part-time as I no longer wanted to work so hard; Booz had burned me out. That was in 1987 and I’ve been here ever since. Full-time and working hard.
What is your role at Abacus?
I am the Senior Vice President of Washington Client Services. That means I’m responsible for client programs in the DC area and marketing initiatives for new work in the area, especially for civilian clients. I’m that person who drops in on clients to show the corporate face. I also get involved in corporate efforts such as earning certifications (especially for ISO certifications), selecting our talent acquisition system (iCIMS), and other corporate-level improvements that are needed to be competitive in our marketplace.
I have a Bachelors of Engineering Science in Electrical Engineering, Systems Science from the Johns Hopkins University. I went to graduate school in Operations Research at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill but never quite finished my master’s thesis (because I started working at Booz Allen and never got around to it. Alas.)
My hobbies are…
Hiking/walking, skiing, photography, reading (especially historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy). My husband and I also “collect” National Parks – just added 2 more to the collection: Denali and Kenai Fjords.
Charities, causes, or institutions I currently do/plan to support in the future…
I support environmental and many animal protection organizations: Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, National Parks Foundation, Natural Resource Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife, National Parks Conservation Association, Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, Humane Society, ASPCA, Maryland SPCA, and Environmental Defense Fund. Also stuff for humans like Doctors without Borders, Planned Parenthood, Public TV, and Children’s Hospital.
What was your first job?
Worked in fabric store doing things like measuring fabric lengths for customers. Next job was as a meat wrapper in a grocery store, back when meat was butchered at the store.