Title: Senior Adviser
Company: Susan Parker and Associates
Location: Greenland, New Hampshire, United States
Susan B. Parker, Senior Adviser at Susan Parker and Associates, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in psychiatry and social work.
Determined to combat social and economic injustice, Ms. Parker decided at a young age that she wanted to pursue psychology and social work. She worked hard, and saw her dream realized in 1974, when she became a psychiatric social worker for Orange County Mental Health. In the years since then, she has advanced to roles like executive director of the Grafton County Planning Council and the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, commissioner of the Department of Mental Health in Maine, disability commissioner of the U.S. Social Security Administration, secretary general of Rehabilitation International, senior advisor and interim director of the Disability Program at the International Labor Office in Switzerland, and director of policy and development in the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. Now, Ms. Parker is lending her knowledge to Susan Parker and Associates. She founded the company in 2011.
The highlight of Ms. Parker’s career was demobilizing 500 child soldiers in Sierra Leone in December 1995. She was one of three women who persuaded the dictator of the country to release the children. During this time, she was serving as the secretary general of Rehabilitation International and working with the Special Rapporteur on the effects of armed conflict on children. Another highlight occurred while she was working with the U.S. Social Security Administration. Ms. Parker was responsible for writing a new regulation to settle a Supreme Court suit against the government regarding benefits for children with disabilities, as well as for creating an expedited HIV regulation to give those affected priority standing for disability benefits. Notably, she accomplished all of this in approximately two years. Ms. Parker was also proud of publishing the Disability Unemployment Statistic, which was used routinely in the U.S. government in 2007. Her efforts earned her an award from the Commissioner of Mental Health in the state of Maine. She attributes her success to recognizing that every person that works with her (and never for her) is an individual with a unique set of strengths that contribute to a greater whole. Ms. Parker’s professional designations include a Master of Social Work and a Master of Science in Psychology from Boston College and a Bachelor of Science in English and French from the University of Vermont. Additionally, she was certified in mental health management by Harvard University and as an emergency medical technician by the state of Vermont.
Looking to the future, Ms. Parker intends to continue teaching when possible and to take any board assignment that will allow her to make a difference. Her aim is to pass along knowledge and skills and to create opportunities for others. Some of her current civic endeavors include chairman of the Policy and Research Committee of SeaCoast Republican Women, librarian for the New Hampshire Exeter Chapter of Daughters of American Revolution, and elected treasurer of the Honorary Council of the Rehabilitation International Foundation.
When Ms. Parker isn’t working, she enjoys skiing, gardening, boating, reading, creative writing, interior decorating, and film and the performing arts.
Contact Ms. Parker