A headshot of Susan Kelliher, SVP of Human Resources at The Chemours Company.

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HUMAN RESOURCES

Susan Kelliher

“My ultimate mission—as the leader of the ‘people function’—is to create an environment in which people are able to do their best and to become their best.”

Over her 25-year career in Human Resources, Susan Kelliher has supported a wide variety of industries and companies, including The Mobil Oil Corporation, Pizza Hut, Raytheon Company, The Home Depot, Hewlett-Packard, and (immediately prior to coming to Chemours) Albemarle Corporation, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana–based specialty chemicals company.

Within Human Resources, Susan has pretty much done it all—cultural transformation oversight, compensation philosophy, talent development, succession planning, and more. She emphasizes hiring the right people: “If you bring in people who are good at what they do—and then trust them to do it—driving positive results becomes easy.” Paraphrasing the philosopher Goethe, she adds, “Treat people as if they already are what you want them to be, and they will become that.”

Between her husband’s military service and her own career path, Susan has lived in many places: Texas, the East Coast, the West Coast, the Deep South, and now Wilmington, Delaware. As for which she prefers, her response is unequivocal: “All of them. Each has been an adventure.”

Susan has some measure of fluency in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese. Spanish because she grew up in Texas. French because she studied it in high school and college. And Chinese because as a student at Rice University she became interested in Chinese culture. She began studying Mandarin and spent a semester studying abroad in China. Since then, she has found ways to keep it fresh.

Susan holds a bachelor of arts in Asian studies and political science from Rice and an MBA with a concentration in international business from the University of Texas.

Historical Person I’d Like to Meet

“Margaret Thatcher. I admire what she accomplished as a woman rising up through the ranks. Plus, she was the daughter of a grocer, and so am I. Growing up I helped my dad at his outdoor grocery stand. During the holiday season, I sang carols over the public address system and helped people pick out Christmas trees.”

Favorite Hobby

“High-intensity exercise. I do CrossFit. I love to run, and I also do yoga.”

Something People Are Surprised to Discover

“I’m adopted. I didn’t find out till I was in my thirties. My mother told me after my dad died. Off and on I searched for my biological parents, and after seven years I finally found them. They were in high school when I was born, so they gave me up to an orphanage. My biological family turned out to be quite fascinating. My ancestors were among the first white settlers of Hawaii.”