Dr. Susanne Thiessen

Dr. Susanne Thiessen
Assistant Professor and Academic Undergraduate Advisor
School of Public Administration

PhD (NCU), MBA (UVic)

Professional Information and Research

Dr. Susanne Thiessen is an Assistant Professor in Indigenous Community Development in the School of Public Administration. Susanne completed her MBA at UVic and her Doctorate in Business, focusing on organizational leadership at Northcentral University in Arizona. She has a current designation as a Certified Professional in Human Resource Management.
Grounded in business management, leadership, and public administration Susanne has extensive experience creating and implementing programming to decolonize governance, educational, and management practices that incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing and doing in complex stakeholder environments (Indigenous and Non- Indigenous). She has had a leadership role in many organizations to Indigenize organizational approaches and policy framing and developing issues through an Indigenous lens, with a process that prefaces Indigenous values systems, is strengths-based, and fully inclusive.

Her professional experience includes contributions to the engagement of First Nations communities to inform the BC government's provincial legislation on topics such as emergency management, Indigenous disability, and Indigenous secondary and post-secondary programming and to Indigenization and reconciliation action planning for companies at a national level. She has been a thesis supervisor in the Master of Arts in Leadership School supervising Indigenous research at Royal Roads University and taught Strategic HR, Applied Leadership, and Cross-Cultural Leadership in the School of Business at Camosun College. She was also a curriculum author and instructor in UVics' Indigenous Community Development program. She has presented her work internationally in Venice, Rotterdam, and New Zealand at management conferences focusing on Indigenous issues, diversity, and inclusion.

Her current research examines First Nations cultural approaches to work and the relationships of administrative practice and policies to employee engagement for First Nations people. As an Indigenous scholar, her work privileges Indigenous knowledge in examining and framing research outcomes. She is interested in exploring cultural adaptations and the intersections between Indigenous approaches and ways of being and doing with western leadership, management, and administrative systems and practices.