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About Susan R. Madsen

Dr. Susan R. Madsen is the Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership & Ethics in the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University. Susan has been heavily involved for over a decade in researching the lifetime development of prominent women leaders, as well as studying many aspects of women and leadership more broadly. In the past few years, Dr. Madsen released eight briefs and five snapshots through the Utah Women & Leadership Project, which she founded, on Utah women and leadership in all sectors and settings. Overall, Susan has authored or edited six books and has published well over 100 articles, chapters, and reports. She is a sought-after speaker in local, national, and international settings. She has presented in NGO sessions at the United Nations and in such places as the New York Times, the Argentina Parliament Palace, the House of Commons in England, and in many countries around the world. In addition to a host of awards and recognitions, Susan has most recently been recognized as the recipient of the 2016 YWCA Utah Outstanding Achievement Award in Education, Community Legacy Impact Award from People Helping People, as the 2016 “Distinguished Woman of the Year” by the Wasatch Chapter of AAUW, a 2016 honoree of the Sundance Film Festival’s Utah Women’s Leadership Celebration, and the 2014 “Women and Leadership Scholar of the Year” for the International Leadership Association. Since 2009, when she founded the Utah Women & Education Initiative for the state of Utah, Susan has also led efforts to determine how to get more Utah women to graduate from college. She also serves on several nonprofit and community boards, including the United Way of Utah County, Real Women Run, and the Women’s Leadership Institute. Dr. Madsen received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota in human resource development. 


Present Independent Leadership Consultant and Speaker, Utah Valley University
Present Orin R. Woodbury Professor of Leadership and Ethics, Utah Valley University
Present Professor of Management, Utah Valley University

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Women of the Year, Wasatch Branch, AAUW, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 9, 2016
  • Honoree, Sundance Film Festival Utah Women’s Leadership Celebration (with Geena Davis). Park City, Utah, January 28, 2016.
  • Honorable Mention, Community Legacy Award, Women Investing in Women, People Helping People, August, 2015
  • Scholar of the Year, Woodbury School of Business, Utah Valley University, April 2015
  • Women & Leadership Scholar Award from the International Leadership Association at the Annual Women and Leadership Affinity Group Luncheon on November 1, 2014
  • Utah Valley Magazine’s Fabulous 40 recognized in March of 2014.
  • Utah Business Magazine’s 30 Women to Watch recognized on May 17, 2013 at a Utah Women’s Business Day Luncheon at the Grand America Hotel.
  • Salt Lake Chamber Pathfinder Award awarded on November 14, 2012 at Women and Business Luncheon, Little America, Salt Lake City.
  • The President’s Excellence Award for Leadership and Inclusion awarded on March 31, 2011 at Utah Valley University.
  • The Leadership Trust Foundation Fellowship awarded and inducted on March 1, 2010 in Ross-on-Wye, United Kingdom
  • Orin R. Woodbury Professorship of Leadership and Ethics, awarded July 2009 from the Woodbury School of Business and the Woodbury Family Trust
  • MED Division Best Symposium in Management Education and Development, 2009, part of the “Developing Women Leadership in the Middle East: Generating Local Knowledge” session. Academy of Management.
  • Editorial Board Member Appointment, Journal of Education for Business, Heldref Publications (January 2009-Present
  • Runner-Up for Best ADHR Issue 2005-2007, Academy of Human Resource Development, Announced at the Annual Research Conference of the Americas, February 23, 2008, Panama City, Florida
  • Early Career Scholar Award 2006, Academy of Human Resource Development
  • Editorial Board Member Appointment, Advances in Developing Human Resources (ADHR) and Sage Publications (2006-Present).
  • Editor’s Award for Best Paper, Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management for 2004-2005
  • Executive Leadership Fellowship, 2005-2006, Utah Valley State Executive Leadership Forum
  • Board of Trustees Award of Excellence, Utah Valley State College, 2004-2005
  • Faculty Scholar of the Year Award, School of Business, Utah Valley State College, 2004-2005
  • Service-Learning Engaged Scholar Award, Teaching Award, 2004-2005, Utah Campus Compact, awarded April 5, 2005
  • Best Paper Award Nomination. Western Academy of Management Conference, 2005
  • Academic Service-Learning Fellowship, Fall 2004, Utah Valley State College
  • Outstanding Civic Engagement Award, Faculty Honoree, Teaching Award, 2002-2003


  • Individual Action and Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Leadership Theory and Application


2001 Doctorate of Education in Work, Community and Family Education Specialization in Human Resource Development, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
1991 Masters of Science in Teaching, Exercise Science/Fitness, Portland State University
1985 Bachelors of Arts, Major: Speech Communication Education; Minor: Physical Education, Brigham Young University

Contact Information

800 West University Parkway, MS 119
Orem, UT 84058-5999

Gender Wage Gap and Unpaid Care Work in Utah (1)

Leadership (133)