Dr Suzy Walton is a multi-sector board director with international Chair experience.
She has expertise in corporate governance, regulation, health, science, education and human behaviour. She is qualified as a Chartered Occupational Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and Chartered Director.
Mother of 7 and business leader Suzy inspires audiences by talking about her experiences on the West End stage as a scientist in Whitehall and a director on more than 15 national and international boards.
Suzy is unique as someone who has held senior positions in the arts and sciences, combining this with bringing up a large family. Her 7th child arrived during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suzy Walton started out “by accident, not design,” she says, as a West End actress. She played the juvenile lead of ‘Lydia’ the young deaf girl in the award-winning play Children of a Lesser God. For the role, she learnt American Sign Language. Leaving the show after three and a half years, Suzy pursued a career in broadcasting. She had her own travel programme on LBC Radio – a show which took her all over the world. One of the highlights was recording on the flight deck of Concorde while on a day trip to Barbados – “not bad”, she has been heard to say “for someone who is scared of flying.”
She moved from radio to television, becoming a Senior News Producer for Sky News and then turned her back on the media world to go to university. Suzy received a bachelor’s degree in science with first-class honours, followed by a master’s degree. She then joined the Ministry of Defence as a Research Scientist. From humble beginnings “in a tin hut at the end of a runway” Suzy moved to Whitehall and spent more than a decade working at the centre of government. She served in the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. She also received a PhD for classified research on suicide in the military.
Suzy had a yearning to – in her words, “have a go at running things,” so she left central government and took up a series of board appointments.
She has now sat on over 15 major boards, including Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the government’s Science Advisory Council, the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Society of Medicine, ACCA (the global regulator for accountancy) and the Institute of Directors, where having been a ‘NED’ for a decade she became the IoD’s longest ever serving board member.
Suzy Walton retains her passion for the government’s agenda and has sat as a NED/lay member on:
- The State Honours Committee (Cabinet Office)
- The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (Department of Health)
- The Ethics Group of the National DNA Database (Home Office)
- The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (Ministry of Justice)
- The Higher Education Funding Council for England (BEIS)
Suzy is also a Vice-President of Combat Stress, which helps veterans with mental illness and the former Deputy Chair of the University of Westminster.
Suzy Walton is a polished keynote speaker and takes her audience on a humorous journey through her various careers, drawing on anecdotes from the nursery to the boardroom, delivering a message that “you just need courage to succeed.”