Susan Saxton is a nonresident senior fellow with Atlantic Council’s N7 Initiative in the Rafik Hariri Center and Middle East Programs. Saxton has over twenty-five years of educational and business expertise, with a focus on transformational leadership, corporate strategy, and academic program management, all of which led to multiple C-suite roles in international markets. In her role as chief executive at Learning Models LC, Saxton is focused on increasing scale and quality for public and private entities; designing, building, and operating new schools and universities; and consulting with ministries and governmental institutions in the Middle East and North Africa region with a focus on Saudi Arabia.
Prior to her current role, Saxton was the founding president at the American University of Bahrain, where she built a first-of-its-kind campus and faculty corps to deliver a unique style of education in the emerging and strategic Gulf-Cooperation-Council market. She previously held senior roles within the Laureate Education network, serving as senior vice president of innovation & emerging strategies, chief executive officer of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences; and chief of staff for the ImagineAfrica Alliance. In these positions, Saxton helped in the acquisition and expansion of campus locations, requiring extensive due diligence and regulatory negotiations, as well as the restructuring and transformation of institutions within Laureate Education’s larger corporate strategy. Her efforts focused on attaining higher-quality campus experiences, better performing and more relevant programs, community recognition, and an enhanced global reputation of the institutions she served. She has held international entrepreneurial roles in both developed and emerging economies, and she has worked in The Hague as chief strategy & development officer for the International Baccalaureate Organization.
Saxton has two PhDs (one in organization and management, and the other in human services/psychology); a Master of Laws in international business from the University of Liverpool; a Master of Science in business administration in finance from Boston University; and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Wellesley College.