Susan Fournier

Allen Questrom Professor and Dean,
Questrom School of Business

PhD, University of Florida, 1994
MS, The Pennsylvania State University, 1983
BS, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1980


Susan Fournier joined the faculty at Boston University Questrom School of Business in 2005 as an Associate Professor of Marketing and Dean’s Research Fellow. In the ensuing years, she advanced through the faculty ranks and was named Questrom Professor in Management in 2013. She has been an influential member of the community in her varied roles as an educator, researcher, and administrator.

As Questrom’s first academic dean in over 40 years, Susan has the benefit of an inside perspective. She brings a wealth of personal experience in academia with over 24 years in the Undergrad, MBA and Executive classrooms of Harvard Business School, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and Questrom. She is a celebrated professor who designed and delivered one of Questrom’s Top 10 MBA electives. She recently served as Senior Associate Dean of Faculty & Research, and was a prior Faculty Director of the Questrom MBA and Doctoral programs. She is an award-winning researcher with an in-depth knowledge of the research and publication enterprises, what it takes to produce “research that matters,” how to bring that knowledge into the classroom, and what it takes to translate academic research for the most significant impact on practice—facets critical to understand in the pursuit of creating value for the world.

Susan is also the first woman dean at Questrom, marking a significant moment in our history. She is “looking forward to a time when this descriptor is not considered a unique attribute.” Of equal importance, Susan is a first-generation college student. This status gives her meaningful insight as Questrom continues to focus on diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the School’s life.


In 2015, Susan was named Senior Associate Dean of Faculty & Research at Questrom. In that capacity, she led strategic efforts to hire 22 tenure-track research faculty and 18 non-tenure-track faculty.

She advanced the value of interdisciplinary interfaces by promoting cross-departmental hiring, the development of new cross-disciplinary programs, and faculty engagement in interdisciplinary institutes at both the School and BU at large.

An advocate for “research that matters,” Susan encourages synergies across teaching, research, and service that can advance business practice and the School.

She is a strong supporter of faculty on the teaching track, where she introduced new leadership roles for lecturers and other non-tenure-track faculty, including a pilot experiment for the position of Associate Department Chair and a partnership model for Academic Program Directors that unites research and teaching faculty to yield benefits of complementarity and holistic value creation.

With the support of a stellar staff and guidance of principles of equity and fairness, she developed operating systems to guide and streamline faculty actions processes at Questrom.


Susan is a leading researcher and international voice in the field of branding and consumer behavior. She is credited with pioneering the brand relationships sub-field in marketing – a thriving subject that explores the connections consumers form with branded products, services, and organizations.

Her work spans the disciplines and methods of marketing, psychology, anthropology, and finance with a signature research style that delivers profound theoretical insights and applications for business practice.

One of the most-awarded scholars in marketing, she received six best paper awards from major journals throughout her career. She is one of six researchers to be awarded the Long-Term Contribution Award in Consumer Research, granted to her in recognition of her work on brand relationships. She has been recognized twice for research with the most impact on theory and practice, receiving the Maynard Award from Journal of Marketing for her study on customer satisfaction and the Sheth Award from Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science for an empirical paper demonstrating the creation of shareholder value through branding. She also received the Emerald Publishing Citation of Excellence Award for the Top 50 articles in management.

Susan is consistently ranked among the Top 10% of authors on SSRN in terms of all-time downloads, and claims over 20,000 Google Scholar citations with five published works garnering over 1,000 cites.

Susan is the author of two acclaimed books on branding, over 40 best-selling Harvard Business School case studies, and is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review blog. Her active projects explore the role of risk in branding theory and practice, management of person-brands such as Martha Stewart and Donald Trump, brand co-creation, brand relationship development and dissolution, and the lived experiences of brand “flings,” “abusive marriages,” and “secret affairs.”


Susan’s experience in academia is equaled by her extensive work in private industry. Prior to joining Questrom, she served in a variety of critical management positions including Marketing Research Manager at Polaroid Corporation, Account Manager at Yankelovich, Clancy Shulman, a leading marketing research firm, and Vice President and Associate Research Director at Young & Rubicam Advertising in New York—at the time, the largest private advertising agency in the world.

She also served for twelve years on the Board of Advisors for the Harley Owners Group at Harley-Davidson Motor Company, and for seven years as a brand advisor to Irving Oil Corporation. Her brand relationship research ideas have been translated into products at GfK, one of the top five market research agencies in the world.

She is Founder, President, and Chairman of the Institute for Brands & Brand Relationships, a non-profit international collaborative of academics and practitioners that advances research and dialogue on brand-related phenomena across disciplinary and method boundaries.

To inform her teaching, case development, and research, she maintains a consulting practice with clients including IBM, Coca-Cola, Panera, Procter & Gamble, and the New York Philharmonic.

Susan is a long-standing member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Relationship Marketing, Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, and Marketing Theory. She also serves as Senior Consulting Editor for the Journal of Brand Management and sits on the Senior Advisory Board of the Journal of Product and Brand Management and GfK Marketing Intelligence Review. She is active in the Association for Consumer Research, a professional community where she was nominated multiple times for the presidency and previously served as At-Large Director.

In addition to her appointment at BU, she served on the faculty of Harvard Business School for ten years and was a visiting professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Susan received her BSBA in Marketing from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, her MS in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University, and her PhD in Marketing from University of Florida.

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