Dr Suzy Walton

Meet Suzy Walton who has utilised her psychology degree to benefit those around her. She is on numerous governing boards and has supported the work of the Ministry of Defence.

Read more stories BSc (Hons) Psychology
Current job roleMulti sector Board Director 
Former Senior Civil Servant Ministry of Defence and Cabinet Office
Year of graduation1994 / 1995
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Psychology
MSc Psychology

University life and experience

Suzy initially decided to study at the University of Hertfordshire due the reputation of the course and its proximity to her home and easy access to London. Throughout her degrees, Suzy was managing a hectic schedule working in London as well as looking after a young family.

However, she found the support and information offered to her unparalleled. She says, ‘I remember finding information very accessible however – even when I had to sometimes turn up in the wee small hours to use the library because the children wouldn’t let me do so earlier!'

Her studies have enabled her to achieve great success in her career and Suzy uses the knowledge and skills gained to enable her to communicate with fellow colleagues and solve complex problems. She says that, ‘Psychology has given me is the ability to be objective as a board member. I can take a robust approach to issues and listen to the evidence, stating my own case clearly and objectively.’

She stresses that she is also she is ‘also able to step back – as one must on a board – and put the data aside and focus on the human relationships and the key enabling factors that will allow any decision made by a board to actually translate into a difference on the ground.’

One of the highlights of her time studying at the University was being taught by Dr Richard Wiseman. She says, that ‘Through him I learnt a lot about the psychology of deception and my own expertise in this was put to extreme use by the Ministry of Defence. I can’t say any more on this without breaching the Official Secrets Act!’

Future aspirations

Suzy is currently the Vice-President of the Royal Society of Medicine (Patron – Her Majesty the Queen). and is also the longest-standing board member at the Institute of Directors. She is also on the global board of ACCA which is the regulator for the accountancy profession around the world. She has many other roles mostly in and around government.

She has achieved great things throughout her career and in the future would like to continue to bring her passion and expertise to corporate governance. She enjoys that her expertise and knowledge enables her to have a direct impact an organisation’s strategy while having legal responsibilities for its safety, solvency and compliance.

‘I want the UK to continue to be one of the centres of excellence worldwide in corporate governance and I hope to be able to continue working to achieve that. I also want to continue to enjoy my family.’

Suzy also has 7 children – the youngest arrived in lockdown 2020.