A highly regarded talent and artist development executive, Susan Dodes has been a constant presence in the U.S. entertainment business and brings her expertise and serious love of all kinds of music to the world of experiential university education.
Susan began her career in music in the international acquisitions department of Chappell-Intersong Music Publishers in New York City. Tutored by legendary Music publisher and lawyer Irwin Z. Robinson, she learned the intricacies of copyright and rights management on both the creative and legal sides and the often underrecognized power of the songwriter. Subsequently, she was promoted to director of talent acquisition and held that position at Warner-Chappell Music as well as Famous Music Publishing.
She moved to the recording side of the business as director of A+R for MCA/Universal Records and in 1994 was appointed vice president of A+R at Sony/Relativity Recordings. Throughout her career, she has signed or worked with artists and songwriters as diverse as Level 42, Cinderella, Patty Smyth, REM, U2, The Lightning Seeds, Jill Sobule, and Josh Ritter as well as overseeing a variety of soundtrack and licensing projects. She started her own A+R and production/consulting firm, SuLeDo Music Consulting, and handled the producing careers of Luke Ebbin (Bon Jovi) and Kipper (Sting, Chris Botti) and engineer extraordinaire Gary Tole. When time permits, she continues to consult on projects across the musical spectrum and is known for her development of young artists and songwriters.
Susan lived in London, England, from 2007-2012, where she was appointed senior lecturer at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music, an associated school of the University of Sussex. She has taught master classes for undergraduate students at The Clive Davis Institute at NYU, Syracuse University’s Bandier Program for Music and Entertainment, and The University of Liverpool. In 2013, She was named lecturer professor at the University of New Haven in the department of Music, Music Industry and Sound Recording, teaching courses in music business, music publishing, and music history. She is also the creator and director of the department’s highly acclaimed Nashville Semester Study Away Program in partnership with Blackbird Studio.
She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Brandeis University and a master of arts degree in American Studies from Columbia University. Susan is an active member of NARAS and has participated in panels at many of the music business's most impactful conferences including SXSW and CMJ/MONDO. In 2019 she was appointed co-chair of Global Mentorship and Education for the She Is The Music organization founded by Alicia Keys, in recognition of her work as a mentor and advocate for young women in the music industry. Under Susan's leadership, She Is The Music launched its inaugural ConnectTogetHER mentorship program in June of 2020, which provided summerlong mentorship experiences with industry professionals and creators for 40 young female creators and music businesses hopefuls from around the globe.
Her philosophy for teaching and mentoring students with a deep passion for music and the business that propels it is “If you want to be in the music business then BE in the music business…your education, ability to communicate, passion, and entrepreneurial spirit will be your launching pad…the rest is up to you.”