Episode 12 • 12/22/2022

Sue Cunningham, President and CEO of CASE, on Their Career Journey Framework

Available on

How do you lead a global organization, across time zones and languages? How do you reimagine a governance structure that no longer serves your organization’s strategic goals? How do you help your members advance their careers with intention?

In this episode of Associations Thrive host Joanna Pineda interviews Sue Cunningham, President and CEO of The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Sue introduces CASE, talks about why higher education is still worthwhile, shares her journey to becoming President and CEO, and then shares how CASE is thriving through:

  • A nimble culture, a curious staff, and committee volunteers
  • An updated governance structure that saw CASE reduce from 11 fiduciary boards down to   one fiduciary board, while retaining regional councils and district cabinets
  • Upgraded technology for CASE
  • Global reporting standards that guide members in different areas, including donor ethics, fundraising, etc.
  • A new career journey framework that gives members guidance on how to advance in their careers in the areas of strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, financial acumen, relationship building, etc. 
  • AMAtlas, a program wherein members participate in surveys and then receive aggregate data from all respondents; these metrics allow members to compare data around the world and share what’s working
  • A new book called Global Exchange: Conversations with Sue Cunningham 


About Sue Cunningham

Sue Cunningham is president and CEO of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), which supports over 3,700 schools, colleges and universities worldwide in developing their alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing operations. As CASE president and CEO, Ms. Cunningham provides strategic and operational leadership for one of the largest associations of education-related institutions in the world with members in over 80 countries. She became president of CASE in March, 2015.

About The Council for Advancement and Support of Education

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the global nonprofit association dedicated to educational advancement professionals—in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services—who share the goal of championing education to transform lives and society.

To fulfill their missions and to meet both individual and societal needs, colleges, universities and independent schools rely on and therefore must foster the goodwill, active involvement, informed advocacy and enduring support of alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, government officials, community leaders, corporate executives, foundation officers, and other external constituencies.

Other Episodes

About Associations Thrive

Associations Thrive podcast is hosted by Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker at Matrix Group International. Joanna’s personal mission and the mission of Matrix Group is to help associations and nonprofits increase membership, generate revenue and thrive in the digital space. 

We believe that every association has a unique mission and unique story that demonstrates how they’re serving their members, impacting their industry, and ultimately changing the world. Every guest is an association Chief Executive, Executive Director or President. We’re here to help amplify their stories so all associations can learn and thrive, together.

If you and your organization have a great story,  apply to be on Associations Thrive!