Susan Nero, PhD

Antioch University
Home Faculty Directory Susan Nero, PhD

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and began my higher education as an undergraduate student of literature and philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After starting a graduate degree in English and teaching English in a private school in New York City, I moved to Los Angeles in 1970 and several years later entered doctoral studies in the Graduate School of Management at UCLA. I studied Human Systems Development, the application of social sciences to people in organizational settings. My doctoral dissertation was a study of how young women MBAs made decisions about having both careers and children.

I began my study of organizations while still in Milwaukee, when I worked at the University of Wisconsin, documenting relationships between the historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and mainstream colleges and universities. Later I was part of a team that researched the introduction of the experimental Women’s Health Care Practitioner role into the work structure of the Women’s Clinic at Harbor General Hospital.

From work as a researcher, I transitioned into the role of practitioner, first as a consultant at Hughes Aircraft, doing management development training. I was the first woman to be hired at Hughes in that capacity. Since then I have worked with scores of organizations in many sectors, including technology, banking, higher education, health care, government, retail, and consumer goods. My consulting practice includes work with individuals, teams, and larger systems. My focus been on the creative integration of individuals and systems. Much of my practice has been helping managers exercise more interpersonal courage and competence in their jobs as well as in the larger organization.

I have a special interest in the not for profit world and has consulted and volunteered with small and large not for profits, including environmental, educational, social advocacy, and health care organizations. I have been on the Board of Directors of the Santa Monica Food Coop (Coopportunity) and served as its Vice President.

I began teaching at Antioch University in 1980, and have chaired the Graduate Management program intermittently since 1985. Working closely with Antioch University students, in the classroom and as an academic advisor, is the most gratifying aspect of my professional life. In recent years, I have especially enjoyed supervising the Capstone Projects. This work takes me out into the Los Angeles community, where I often work closely with the other professionals and organizations who support the student Capstone teams.

I am a professional member of the National Training Laboratories (NTL) and a trained mediator. Beyond my professional activities, I have a special love for foreign travel and cultures, world religions, art, and literature. I am a meditator and a serious cook.

Susan Nero

Faculty Emeritus

Non-Profit Management

PhD in Human Systems Development, Graduate School of Management, University of California Los Angeles
BS in English and Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Commentary on “The Crucibles of Authentic Leadership,” p.252, in The Essential Bennis, Essays on Leadership by Warren Bennis, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 2009.

Distinguished Service Award
Antioch University Los Angeles, 1991, 1999

Skip to content