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Susan Dodes

Susan Dodes

Visiting Assistant Professor

Music and Performing Arts Professions

An executive, educator and serious music fan with over 30 years of record making and artist development experience, Susan has been a consistent presence in the U.S. entertainment business.

Her career in the music industry began in the International Acquisitions department of Chappel-Intersong Music Publishers in New York City.  There she learned the intricacies and importance of global copyright protection, copyright law and legal structures, the value of catalogue and the true creative power of the songwriter. Subsequently she was promoted to Director of Talent Acquisition/A+R and held that position at Warner-Chappell Music as well as Famous Music Publishing.

Interested in recording, she became Director of A+R for MCA/Universal Records where she signed and facilitated artist recording projects across all pop and rock genres. She was subsequently appointed Vice President of A+R at Sony/Relativity Recordings, leading the A+R department (a rarity for a woman at that time) to a major increase in sales and gold and platinum certifications. Throughout her career she has signed or worked with artists and songwriters as diverse as U2, REM, Level 42, Cinderella, Patty Smyth, The Lightening Seeds, Jill Sobule, Our Lady Peace, Josh Ritter and Luke Sital-Singh as well as managing soundtrack and licensing projects. Wanting a more entrepreneurial approach to her career, she started her own A+R/Production consulting firm, SuLeDo Music Consulting and developed the producing careers of Luke Ebbin (Bon Jovi) and Kipper (Sting, Chris Botti) amongst others. She continues to consult on music projects across the entertainment spectrum as time permits.

Her academic career began in England when her family moved to London in 2007. As a well-regarded global music executive, The Brighton Institute of Modern Music, an affiliate of the University of Sussex, appointed her Senior Lecturer in Music Business. There she developed curriculum and mentorship programs in Songwriting and Entrepreneurship.  Returning to the United States in 2013 she was appointed Lecturer in the Department of Music, Music Industry and Sound Recording at The University of New Haven. In 2018 Susan joined the faculty of Steinhardt's Music Business Program, teaching both at the undergraduate and graduate level and developing the NYU January Term A+R and Production course at East Iris Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, a partnership with Universal Music. She has been a featured guest lecturer at The Bandier School of Entertainment at Syracuse University, The Clive Davis Institute at NYU, Brandeis University and The University of Liverpool

Susan holds a BA degree from Brandeis University and a Master of Arts degree in American Studies from Columbia University.

In 2014 she was awarded the prestigious Hamden Education Foundation Alumni Achievement Award, given each year to a graduate of Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut who exemplifies the mission of Hamden education, has achieved the highest level of recognition in their chosen field of expertise and has given back to students and others as a mentor.

Since 2019, Susan has served as the Global Co-Chair of Mentorship for the She Is the Music Foundation (SITM).  This organization, founded by Alicia Keys, is a platform that provides young women from all backgrounds the educational and empowerment experiences necessary to begin or continue a career in music. Susan is a co-creator of the SITM Virtual Mentorship Program launched in the summer of 2020, which has provided one-on-one mentorship experiences for over 150 young women globally. Additionally, the SITM/Blackbird Academy Scholarship program, which provides $140,000 worth of scholarships each year for young women to attend this world-renowned recording academy is a program Susan personally oversees. Her role at SITM has made her a frequent advisor to organizations such as NARAS, The Latin Grammys and other music focused groups on mentorship and educational initiatives.

As a career long advocate for creators’ rights with a focus on songwriters, Susan has taken a specific interest in the recent technological and legislative changes that impact creators and has made them a focal point of her curriculum. To that end, The Mechanical Licensing Collective recently named her a Mechanical Licensing Collective Educator Ambassador, only one of eight in the country.

While music and the business that propels it is the fuel that powers just about everything Susan does, she is also a sports fan (primarily Boston teams!) loves hiking and biking, films, Wordle, baking and lively, respectful political discussion.  Besides her husband and two sons her favorite family members are her golden retriever Scout and cats Sir Percy and Princess Leah.


Music Business

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