Susan Lichtenstein has amassed over thirty-five years of boardroom and C-suite experience in a career that has spanned the corporate, government, legal, and professional communications arenas. Well known as the person you want in "the room where it happens," she has served as General Counsel to three multinational public companies. She is proud of her reputation as a calm and effective crisis manager. She is even prouder of her reputation as someone who can help avert those crises before they happen.
Susan began her career in a Chicago law firm, where she became an equity partner. Susan has twice answered the call to public service, working for both the Mayor of Chicago and the Governor of Illinois. No stranger to the labyrinthine workings of politics and government, she has testified at Congressional hearings, dealt with cabinet-level officials, and worked with all levels of government agencies, legislatures, and the press.
Immediately before joining RSHC, Susan was Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Chief Legal Officer of Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc., a leading global manufacturer and provider of medical technologies and related services. In that position, she was globally responsible for Hill-Rom’s government, public policy and legal affairs, corporate communications, and corporate support services. Before joining Hill-Rom, Susan had similar responsibilities as Corporate Vice President and General Counsel for Baxter International Inc., then a $12+ billion diversified healthcare company. She also held C-suite positions in telecommunications, as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for both Ameritech Corporation and Tellabs, Inc.
Susan worked her way through college and law school as a singer and can still sometimes be found at the keyboard or behind a microphone. In the rest of her spare time, she serves on several civic and philanthropic boards, and has been a writer, teacher, and speaker on risk and crisis management, government regulation, corporate governance, women in business, and internal investigations.
- Susan negotiated and implemented a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services, heading off a government enforcement action against a major medical device manufacturer.
- Susan successfully concluded a federal criminal investigation for a multinational life sciences company, persuading the government against indictment by implementing a series of transparency initiatives.
- When a widely-used product was tainted by a foreign link in a complex supply chain, Susan led the team that investigated the matter, dealt with the press, shareholders, employees, regulators, and other constituencies, and successfully concluded federal Congressional hearings without lasting harm to the company.
- When the government seized a healthcare company's product, Susan negotiated and implemented a consent decree to avoid criminal charges.
- Susan has worked with numerous FDA warning letters, helping to resolve issues without further enforcement action.
- When a bridge over the Chicago River sprang up unexpectedly and tossed a large crane several blocks, Susan dealt with the press, the various construction interests, and those with damaged property, coordinating all constituents in a successful resolution.
- When Chicago's underground tunnel system flooded, closing the City's downtown business center, Susan was a key member of the team that investigated, recommended, and implemented solutions.
- At three highly regulated public companies, Susan implemented first ever, world class, and business friendly compliance programs. She also has championed diversity and inclusion efforts, helping those companies avoid enforcement activity and win sustainability awards.
- Susan is frequently called upon to work with boards, audit committees, governance and compensation committees, as well as special committees, to avoid and, when necessary, navigate through the full range of issues that can confront public and private companies.
EducationNorthwestern University Law School, J.D., 1981
Member, Editorial Board, Northwestern University Law Review
University of Minnesota, B.A., 1978
Honors & Awards
Anti-Defamation League, Women of Achievement Award
Chicago Bar Association, Alliance for Women Founders' Award
Numerous First Chair Awards -- General Counsel category
Civic and Charitable Memberships
Rush Health System, Board of Trustees
Olin-Sang Ruby Union Institute, Board of Trustees
Lyric Opera of Chicago, Past Board of Trustees
Ravinia Festival, Past Board of Trustees
Civic Consulting Alliance, Past Board of Trustees
WTTW, Past Board of Trustees