Suzanne Cardwell specializes in action-oriented partnerships with executives and organizations ready for cultural amplification. She’s built a career out of leading teams in the pursuit of proactive inclusion and is energized by continuing that momentum as an external consultant partner at Cook Ross.
Ahead of the rise of corporate social responsibility, Suzanne was conducting culture audits and serving as an award-winning D&I instructional designer at Capital One, where she lead research-driven strategies for over 46,000 associates worldwide as the Head of Internal Programs for Diversity & Inclusion. During her over 15-year tenure at the company, Suzanne also directed corporate onboarding, operational infrastructure, process engineering, risk management, customer experience, and quality assurance across the U.S. card business.
In 2015, Suzanne founded the Cardwell Consulting Group to initiate courageous conversations with CEOs and bring cutting-edge D&I practices to their workplaces. Through CCG, Suzanne began her journey with Cook Ross as a principal consultant. Now, as Chief Strategy Officer, Suzanne transforms client cultures by continually innovating the firm’s industry-leading suite of services and product offerings. Suzanne is a certified coach, an LGBTQ business mentor, and keynote speaker. Her Power of Perspectives interactive event challenges participants to value different experiences in a new and profound way.
An active listener and empathetic truth teller, Suzanne establishes deep, lasting mutuality by breaking barriers and building trust. Clients report that Suzanne’s approach creates a safe space for them to have open, and often difficult, discussions about belonging and organization-wide change.
Suzanne is honored to partner with community groups and nonprofits – including the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Diversity Best Practices, Human Rights Campaign, Leadership Metro Richmond, National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), and Working Mother – to shape D&I strategies and build inclusive, thriving cultures.