Director of McKinley Research
Susan manages a wide array of McKinley Research projects including feasibility studies for public and private investments, program evaluations, and community development plans. Recent assignments include the Alaska Marine Highway Strategic Business and Operational Plan; Haines Economic Development Plan; and a multifaceted project for the Bristol Bay Native Association that examined the economics, public attitudes, and opportunities related to regional borough formation.
She returned to McDowell Group in 2015, after serving as Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. There, she led efforts to market Alaska domestically and internationally, develop Alaska’s renewable and traditional energy resources, and enhance the business climate.
Prior to joining McDowell Group in 2001, Susan served as a Vice President for Goldbelt. She was responsible for many of the Alaska Native Corporation’s business ventures. She has extensive experience in Alaska’s visitor industry including destination marketing, business management, and market research.
Susan serves on the board of Spruce Root, a nonprofit enhancing the economy in Southeast Alaska. Recent volunteer service includes UAA Leadership Fellows Program Mentor, Path to Prosperity Business Competition Judge, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. A lifelong Alaskan originally from Nome, Susan enjoys hiking and skiing with her Labrador retrievers.