Susan S. Collins

“Leaders can make or break the environment for others. The most kind and caring people can lose touch with their better natures under times of duress. I help people stay connected to their core values even when under pressure, so they can treat people well while continuing to forge ahead to achieve goals. In the long run, being able to stay open-hearted when under pressure to perform is the key to being a transformative leader.”

Susan S. Collins is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation. She has helped leaders in large organizations take their leadership to the next “level of difficulty”. As people move to positions with more and more authority, they generally find their work becomes less and less concrete – instead of doing the work itself, their job is to create the conditions so their people can get the work done effectively. The uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity that comes with more authority over people and business decisions can be overwhelming, especially when things are changing rapidly.

Susan works with leaders as they take on more authority to help them build the capacity to handle the complexity and uncertainty they are facing. She helps them understand why others don’t seem to see what they are seeing, and to translate their vision in ways so others can get on board. She also helps leaders build resilience to stay open and explore new ways to address challenges, even when faced with anxiety that comes with not knowing exactly what to do.

Since 2000, Susan has been an organizational effectiveness coach and consultant working with large organizations, including federal agencies and private sector companies. Susan draws on her background in leadership coaching, stages of adult development, organizational development, psychology and neuroscience, mindfulness meditation, and somatic practice to help leaders address seemingly insurmountable challenges that arise in complex organizations more effectively.

Her primary areas of focus include: expanding the capacity of leaders to handle increasingly complex, paradoxical, and uncertain challenges; supporting leadership teams to become more effective decision-making bodies; and revising organizational cultures to support greater organizational effectiveness and workforce engagement. She works with clients to uncover limiting beliefs, helping them challenge and transcend those beliefs to become more empowered, fulfilled, and effective.

In addition to coaching leaders in private practice, Susan leads a Talent Development team in a Homeland Security agency. She previously headed the Leadership and Career Development branch and stood up the first Organizational Development office in the organization. She has extensive experience facilitating and coaching leaders to develop human capital strategies that align with the organization’s mission-related goals. Susan has also been Manager of Executive Education for the Treasury Executive Institute, where she designed and delivered advanced leadership development programs for federal executives. Throughout her federal tenure, Susan has managed three and has served as a coach in two Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Programs, and as a result, has intimate knowledge of the federal Executive Core Qualifications and other executive personnel practices in private and public sector environments.

Susan is a graduate of the Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Certificate Program (2002) and the George Mason University Advanced Coaching Program in Leadership & Well-Being (2012). She is certified in a number of 360-degree and personality assessments, including The Leadership Circle Profile, the Emotional and Social Competency Index, and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. She routinely participants in ongoing learning programs, and has earned a Certificate in the Foundations of Neuroleadership from the Neuroleadership Institute. She has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester (1995) and a B.A. in economics from Wellesley College (1985), and was a professional housing and labor economist for 12 years before becoming a leadership coach. Susan lives in Arlington, VA.


  • Georgetown University Leadership Coaching Certificate Program, 2002

  • George Mason University Advanced Certificate in Leadership and Well-Being, 2012

  • University of Rochester, Ph.D. in Economics, 1995

  • Wellesley College, B.A. in Economics, 1985


  • Professional Certified Coach, International Coach Federation, 2015

  • Associate Certified Coach, International Coach Federation, 2006


  • The Leadership Circle Profile

  • Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI)

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

  • Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-B (FIRO-B)

  • Strong Interest Inventory