Susan Worthman

Susan Worthman profile image

Susan Worthman is a sustainable-systems strategist, writer, researcher, and policy advocate. She consults with businesses and public agencies, helping to accelerate shifts to sustainable systems and practices within their core operations.

Much of her current work and research centers on the big, gnarly question of what success and growth look like in a postconsumerism society—and by what and whose measure this is determined.

No stranger to issues of the environment, social justice, and “liveability,” Worthman began her career in Washington DC, developing neighborhood revitalization strategies, programs, and policies for urban centers across the United States.

A twist of fate brought her to San Francisco, where over the course of the next 20 years, she made substantial use of the region’s noted acceptance of (repeated) self-reinvention. In fields as varied as design, high tech, and artisan foods, Worthman honed skills in business development, organizational management, marketing, and sales.

In the 1990s she managed an international, multicity collaboration among the American Institute of Wine & Food, VISA International, and top U.S. and European chefs to showcase the benefits and variety of regional food sheds.

Worthman then served for five years as the CEO of a business trade association for the internet industry that gained international stature, along with a U.S. Department of Commerce award for export promotion.

In 1998 Worthman became the senior director of strategic business for a division of Ziff-Davis, spearheading developer acquisition projects for IBM and Intel, among others.

Over the next decade she worked in senior management positions with dot-com and high-tech software start-ups, directing market and business development.

Most recently she served as the senior director of U.S. operations for a Dutch artificial-intelligence software manufacturer, where she negotiated licensing deals, guided product development with U.S. and Dutch engineering teams, and advised senior management on U.S. market strategy.

Worthman is a published author of peer-reviewed articles, technical white papers, and industry analyses, most recently in the arena of renewable energy, business innovation. and technology.

She holds a graduate certificate from Presidio Graduate School with distinction in sustainable business management.


Associate Professor, Design MBA
Associate Chair, Design MBA