Skip to main content

Alumni Spotlights

Susan Chapman-Hughes

Susan Chapman-Hughes

MBA '98

Independent director for Toast, Inc. and The J.M. Smucker Company; former EVP, global head of digital capabilities, transformation, and operations, American Express
New York City, New York


Region: Northeast

An unconventional career path led Susan Chapman-Hughes to the C-suite.

From a community planner in Knoxville, Tennessee, to an executive vice president at American Express, Susan Chapman-Hughes (MBA ’98) has had an unconventional career path. Along the way, she stopped at the Wisconsin School of Business to earn an MBA in real estate and returned to her alma mater in 2019 to speak with Wisconsin MBA students and alumni as part of the M. Keith Weikel Leadership Speaker Series.

She shared her perspective on life and leadership—including what it’s like to serve on the board of directors for several entities and how she identifies where she wants to invest her time.

“I have a simple formula for success in terms of where I want to be,” says Susan. “One is, do they have a demonstrated track record of giving people the opportunity to do different things? Second, do they have a demonstrated track record of sponsoring people who look like me and are like me? And the third thing is, can I be myself?”

Learn more about the Wisconsin MBA.

Watch a video with more career advice from Susan.