Today the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) named Susan Cato as its next chief communications and marketing officer (CCMO), effective Jan. 15. She joined the association as senior director of digital communications in 2020 and has served as acting chief communications and marketing officer since 2022. Cato succeeds Elisa Siegel, who retired in June 2022 after nearly 20 years of service to the AAMC and academic medicine.
As CCMO, Cato will work in collaboration with the AAMC Leadership Team and the Board of Directors to lead the development, oversight, and implementation of a comprehensive communications and marketing program to support the AAMC’s strategic priorities, brand recognition, policy priorities, reputation, crisis communications, digital experience, and marketing campaigns.
“Susan has demonstrated her dynamic leadership style, collaborative approach, and deep knowledge of communications strategy and innovation over the last year as acting chief communications and marketing officer, and I have great confidence in her ability to guide our future efforts toward achieving our communications goals,” said David J. Skorton, MD, AAMC president and CEO.
Prior to joining the AAMC, Cato spent more than 20 years leading digital strategy and engagement efforts for industry associations, professional societies, and nonprofit organizations; building and engaging communities; creating valuable content; hosting memorable experiences; and identifying ways to foster connection through shared purpose and co-creation. Her work has won numerous awards, including the 2018 Gold Excel Award for Plantae’s “Taproot” podcast, as well as an Excellence in New Communications Award from the Society for New Communications Research of The Conference Board for the Plantae Community, and the 2021 Gold Excel Award for the AAMC’s strategic plan website. In 2021, she received the AAMC Kat Turner Spirit of Excellence Award for her contributions to the association.
“With a commitment to leveraging community-centric approaches as well as employee and constituent engagement to support the AAMC’s mission, I am thrilled to take on the role of chief communications and marketing officer,” said Cato. “I look forward to leading our talented team of communications professionals to elevate the visibility and recognition of the AAMC and its programs, services, and products in service to the academic medicine community.”