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Common Ground Initiative: Communicating to Open Minds w/ Sally Susman

Mon, August 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

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The Common Ground Initiative is The Westport Library’s forum for public discourse on topical issues of importance to the community. Moderator Steve Parrish will be in conversation with Sally Susman, Pfizer's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, to discuss ways to live harmoniously in a deeply divided world, having courage to live with candor, and building the essential leadership muscles that can shape our future.

Breaking Through: Communicating to Open Minds, Move Hearts, and Change the World, Sally Susman’s best-selling book on how to open minds and move hearts, draws from her experience as the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer. Susman was charged with rolling out the vaccine to an anxious and polarized world. From that experience, she has insights on leadership and connectivity that are essential going forward as we face challenges from political dysfunction to rampant inequity.


Sally Susman is Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Pfizer and vice chair of The Pfizer Foundation. Before joining Pfizer in 2007, Susman held senior roles at The Estée Lauder Companies and American Express. She currently serves as co-chair of The International Rescue Committee and on the board of UL Solutions. She also is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Susman graduated from Connecticut College and studied at the London School of Economics. Susman was recognized by Forbes as one of the 2022 World’s Most Influential CMOs and by LinkedIn as a 2019 Top Voice.

Steve Parrish is the founder of Steve Parrish Consulting Group, LLC, which specializes in crisis management, corporate social responsibility, public affairs, and communications for senior executives of corporations, law firms, and nonprofit organizations. Previously, Parrish was Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, of Altria Group, Inc., and served as Secretary of the Public Affairs and Social Responsibility Committee of the board of directors of Altria Group, Inc. Parrish is a member of the board of directors of Orchestra Lumos (formerly the Stamford Symphony Orchestra) and board member emeritus and past board chair of Safe Horizon, an internationally recognized leader in the field of victim assistance.


The aim of the Common Ground Initiative is to host a positive, productive conversation on how we: work together to move forward as a civil society; encourage respectful, constructive dialogue; and build capacity to tackle challenging and/or controversial issues. The program planning for the initiative is led by The Westport Library in conjunction with community leaders representing a wide array of constituents and ideological standpoints.

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Mon, August 5
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
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The Trefz Forum, The Westport Library
20 Jesup Road
Westport, CT 06880 United States
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